Watersheds and Forest  Management Maryland Dept of Natural Resources
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Chesapeake Bay Program Coordination

Because of forestís beneficial contributions to water quality and habitat goals for the Chesapeake Bay Agreement , several forestry best management practices are tracked for inclusion into the Chesapeake Bay Model and progress towards Bay-wide goals. Forest buffers have actually exceeded current goals. Afforestation outside of buffer areas and forest conservation through programs such as the Forest Conservation Act are included in Chesapeake Bay Program tracking. Forest harvesting best management practices have been shown to avoid significant increases in sediment or nutrients when properly applied, and are another practice tracked for the Chesapeake Bay Model nutrient reduction calculations. MD DNR Forest Service provides the technical assistance for these forestry-related tracking efforts, and participates in setting new goals to further progress towards Chesapeake Bay restoration.

The Chesapeake Bay Forestry Work (FWG) Group coordinates and provides leadership for forestry-related initiatives that support Chesapeake Bay restoration. The successful riparian forest buffer initiative was started in the Forestry Work Group, which supported extension coordination, outreach, and implementation projects to expand the use of riparian forest buffers. RFBs are now widely recognized as a fundamental requirement in watershed restoration, a dramatic shift in awareness since 1994. The FWG is continuing to coordination the expanded goal for riparian forest buffers, as well as support efforts to reduce forest fragmentation, develop a program for Forestry for the Bay, and assess forest conditions throughout the Bay watershed. MD DNR Forest Service is a key player for technical support and leadership for the FWG, which reports to the Nutrient Subcommittee of the Chesapeake Bay Program.

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