Statewide Forest and Tree Study Can Help with Local Planning Decisions

From Our Partners

by Josh Bollinger, Communications Coordinator, The Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology with Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner

Figure 1 – Aerial view of forest and riparian area. Courtesy of the Chesapeake Bay Program.

A new study released in November by the University of Maryland Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology is the most comprehensive study of Maryland’s forest cover and tree canopy ever completed.

The study, entitled The Technical Study on Changes in Forest Cover and Tree Canopy in Maryland (or the Maryland Forest Technical Study), contains both statewide and regional information that can provide crucial input for local governments looking at tree- or forest-related policies.

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New! Important Changes Coming to Maryland’s Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plans

Resources and Tools

by Daniel Rosen, AICP, Resource Conservation Planner, with Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner

Are you looking for a hiking trail to relieve your cabin fever? Do you wonder where you can play this game of pickleball you’ve heard so much about?

Your county has you covered in its Land Preservation, Parks, and Recreation Plan (LPPRP).1 Updated every five years, the LPPRPs make counties eligible for state Program Open Space (POS) funds, which they use to buy park and recreation land, develop new parks, or renovate existing parks and recreation facilities.2 Many counties and their municipalities work together to ensure that the park and recreation needs of municipalities are addressed in the LPPRP. The next updated plans are scheduled for adoption by July 1, 2022.

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Maryland Land Preservation Programs:

Updates and Upcoming Deadlines

Planning in Progress

by Daniel Rosen, AICP, Resource Conservation Planner, and Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner 

Despite the on-going constraints posed by COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) staff continue to work diligently (albeit remotely), and land preservation efforts are moving forward as scheduled. Here are updates on two of Planning’s primary initiatives: 

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Planning Launches the Maryland Protected Lands Dashboard

Resources and Tools

by Debbie Herr Cornwell

Introduced in the June edition of Planning Practice Wednesday and launched in August, the Maryland Protected Lands Dashboard provides a quick assessment of the status of Maryland land preservation at the state, regional, and county levels.  The 12 categories of protected lands include federal, state, county, and private programs. Whether you prefer a map showing where land has been preserved, a colorful pie chart indicating what category or program has preserved the most acreage, or what progress has been made on Maryland’s official agricultural land preservation goal to preserve 1,030,000 acres by 2022, the dashboard makes it all available at your fingertips.
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Planning is developing a new online resource called the Land Preservation Dashboard

Planning in Progress

The Land Preservation Dashboard  is designed to provide users with a clear understanding of how Maryland is meeting its agricultural and environmental land preservation goals. The categories displayed in the dashboard represent various federal, state, local, and private land preservation programs that seek to preserve different types of land such as farmland, timberland, parks, forests, wetlands, riparian zones, and wildlife corridors. It is scheduled for release later this summer. Continue reading