The Forest for the Trees

Clear Cutting Forests 695x352

Developers cut down 17,000 acres in the past nine years in Maryland, a trend expected to continue.

Tom Zolper/CBF Staff

Can Maryland's Leader in Forest Loss Become a Model for Forest Conservation?

Anne Arundel County owns an unfortunate distinction: for nearly a decade, more forest has been cleared here than anywhere else in Maryland. The county lost more than 300 acres of forest per year between 2010 and 2017, a rate equal to losing more than half a football field of forest each day.

This wasn’t always the case. Anne Arundel County was once a leader in protecting forests. The county's 1990 tree preservation ordinance provided a model for Maryland’s landmark 1991 Forest Conservation Law, the first of its kind in the nation. But the county's current laws have not kept pace. Lax forest protection policies have enabled developers to cut thousands of acres of Anne Arundel’s forests—even as other growing counties with stronger forest protections, such as Carroll County, saw net increases in forest acreage since 2010, according to the Chesapeake Bay Program.

Maryland forest loss by county, 2010-2017.

EPA/Chesapeake Bay Program

As forests succumb to sprawling strip malls and office parks, Anne Arundel voters are once again demanding leadership on this issue. Before the County Council is County Bill 68-19, which is designed to protect forested land during development by incentivizing conservation and encouraging growth in built, transit-oriented areas.

To inform the Council on the tremendous need for strong forest conservation legislation, we produced a brief report outlining the impact Bill 68-19 would have on the county's forests and emphasizing how economic growth and forest conservation are not mutually exclusive.

Take a look at the report here.

As deliberations on Bill 68-19 continue, we have heard rumors of an amendment that would gut the current bill, ultimately doing nothing to protect Anne Arundel County's forests. We can't allow the influential developer lobby to pressure the council to pass a weakened version of this bill.

Anne Arundel County residents: don't let your councilmember take the easy way out! TAKE ACTION and urge the council to protect our forests and support a clean version of Bill 68-19!

Codi Yeager-90x110

Codi Yeager

Senior Writer, CBF

[email protected]

aj metcalf 90x110

A.J. Metcalf

Former Maryland Media & Communications Coordinator, CBF

Issues in this Post

Forest Loss   Advocacy   Air Pollution   Climate Change   Conservation   Habitat Loss   Land Use   Runoff Pollution   Smart Growth   Trees   Water Quality   CBF in Maryland   Maryland Office, Annapolis  


The views and opinions expressed in the media or articles on this site are those of the speakers or authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by CBF and the inclusion of such information does not imply endorsement by CBF. CBF is not responsible for the contents of any linked Website, or any link contained in a linked Website, or any changes or updates to such Websites. The inclusion of any link is provided only for information purposes.

Support the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Your donation helps the Chesapeake Bay Foundation maintain our momentum toward a restored Bay, rivers, and streams for today and generations to come.

Donate Today

Save the Bay

Founded in 1967, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the largest independent conservation organization dedicated solely to saving the Bay.

Save the Bay
This website uses cookies to tailor and enhance your online experience. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more information, including details on how to disable cookies, please visit our Privacy Policy. Close