Protect Maryland's Forests!

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We love forests—they provide food and shelter for wildlife, filter pollution, provide cleaner air and cooler summer temperatures, increase property values, and reduce polluted runoff. But Maryland is losing its forests at an alarming rate.

Three bills before the House and Senate present a comprehensive package that would make tremendous strides in protecting Maryland's forests. These bills include commissioning a study of the current state of forest policy, redefining the definition of "no net loss of forest" in the current state policy goal, and addressing several issues related to the Forest Conservation Act's Fee-In-Lieu program.

Use the form below to tell your state legislators how valuable forests are to our environment, economy, and way of life. Tell them we need to protect forests and ask them to support these bills.

Your voice will have the greatest impact if you write to your leaders in your own words. Describe the value of forests to you and your community. 

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Above photo by David Fine.

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Protect Maryland's Forests!

Dear 



I am asking you to support the following bills so that we can preserve Maryland's forests and continue to work towards a healthier Chesapeake Bay.

House Bill 120/Senate Bill 203
This legislation would correct the definition of "no net loss of forest" in state policy by changing the definition from "40 percent of the state covered in tree canopy" to "40 percent of the state covered in forest land" to capture the actual forest coverage at the time the policy was enacted. (Tree canopy reflects individual trees in otherwise urbanized areas, such as street trees. Forests reflect a full ecological system that supports healthy soils and habitat.) Having the right definition is critical to informing future policies to obtain our goal of no net loss of forests.

House Bill 272/Senate Bill 234
The FCA allows local governments to collect a fee in lieu of the developer's reforestation responsibilities. However, local governments are not required to replant the same amount of forest that the developer would have had to plant and are having problems spending the money collected due to lack of resources or land. This results in much less forest mitigation than is required under the law. House Bill 272/Senate Bill 234 would require local governments to replant the same amount of forest that a developer would have had to replant and increase transparency around fee-in-lieu programs.

House Bill 735/Senate Bill 729
Maryland needs an in-depth study on forest loss to quantify current and future deforestation to determine the scope of the problem and inform future policy decisions. House Bill 735/Senate Bill 729, as amended, would provide that study.

Sincerely,

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