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Conserve, steward, and advocate for the unique rural landscape of the Eastern Shore.

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Workshop: Forests & Forestry

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Thursday November 30, 2023

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

The Packing House
411A Dorchester Avenue
Cambridge, MD 21613

On Thursday November 30th, ESLC is hosting a free workshop on forests and forestry with a focus on maintaining and increasing resilience. The workshop will introduce state resources, data, mapping, planning tools, and guidance materials. We’ll hear from Heather Disque of the MD Department of Agriculture, Beth Hill of the Maryland Forests Association, Matthew Hurd from the Maryland Forest Service, Jason Dubow from the Department of Planning, and Charles Rice, Planning Director, Charles County Department of Planning and Growth Management.


Forests and forestry are of significant importance to rural Maryland’s economy and the quality of conservation values in its open space landscapes. At the same time, they are threatened by economic and environmental challenges, including the need for planning and zoning to reflect forestry needs, as well as climate change impacts, such as increased coastal storms, saltwater intrusion, sea level rise, and pest species. The forest industry has a long history on the Eastern Shore and conforms to strong state-level regulations to protect receiving waters. This workshop will be of interest to forest landowners, local jurisdictions, and NGOs seeking to ensure long-term environmental and economic success in our region. Charles County will also discuss its approach to managing and supporting forestry at the local level through planning and zoning requirements.


Lunch will be provided.


Breakout Option 1:

Introduction to Forestry Programs 

Matthew Hurd, Regional Forester, Maryland Forest Service

Join a forester to learn about all the state and federal programs that exist for cost-share, tax assessment, and conservation easements. These programs exist to aid in helping private landowners manage healthy forests for the future.


Breakout Option 2:

Forestry Guidance to Local Governments

Jason Dubow, Resource Conservation & Management, MD Department of Planning

MDP’s Forestry Guidance to Local Governments, written with input from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and other stakeholders, has two main goals: (1) Help local officials become familiar with the many facets of forestry and wood processing in the state and the Maryland laws and regulations that govern them; and (2) Provide examples of how local planning efforts and zoning mechanisms can accommodate the different aspects and activities of forestry and manufacturing products from forests, thereby making local officials more familiar with forest production practices within their jurisdictions. This session will provide an overview of the guidance document and relevant planning and zoning considerations, and a discussion of challenges and opportunities to local governments regarding Maryland’s forest industry.



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