CBF Urges Anne Arundel County Council to Pass Forest Conservation Bill as Amended

(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is asking the Anne Arundel County Council to approve the amended version of the forest conservation bill at its next meeting Nov. 18.

The bill has gone through a pendulum of changes. A strong bill was initially put forth by County Executive Steuart Pittman in September. The Council then weakened the bill with several amendments Oct. 21 that threatened to undercut the legislation’s forest protections. However, Council members passed corrective amendments Nov. 4 that CBF believes restored the original intent of the bill.

The current version of the legislation significantly increases the amount of forest that developers must replant after clearing. It increases protections for contiguous forest of more than 75 acres, which serve as important habitat for wildlife. And it increases fines for clearing trees in violation of the law from $3 to $4.50 per square foot, a more reasonable deterrent.

The bill as drafted has the potential to cut forest loss in the county by half. It represents a step forward in a county that has led the state in forest loss since 2010, according to the Chesapeake Bay Program.

Forests purify air and water, they provide habitat to wildlife, sequester carbon, and offer recreational opportunities. Protecting them now is far more economical than installing the stormwater treatment systems and flood protection infrastructure communities need once forests and other natural filters have been cleared.

CBF’s Maryland Executive Director Alison Prost issued the following statement:

“Anne Arundel County Council members have put in the hard work to strengthen forest protections. Now we are urging them to take the final step and pass this important bill so current residents and future generations can enjoy the natural benefits of the county’s forests. Those benefits include their ability to improve the water quality of the Bay and its tributaries. As the Council shifts to working on the long-term growth plan for the county, we’ll continue to make sure environmental protections are a high priority.”
aj metcalf 90x110

A.J. Metcalf

Maryland Media & Communications Coordinator, CBF

ametcalf@cbf.org
443-482-2023

Forest Loss   Forest Loss   Trees   Water Quality   CBF in Maryland   Maryland Office, Annapolis  

Share Your Clean Water Story

What does the Bay, its rivers and streams mean to you? What impact have the Bay and its local waters had on your life? We'd like to know.

Share Your Story

Stay Up-to-Date on Bay News

Want to stay up-to-date on all news and happenings in your region and across the Chesapeake watershed? Join our digital community.

Sign Up
x
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