Sustainable Forestry Council

Sustainable Forestry Council Final Report

Over the past several years, multiple reports, directives and laws have made plain that working lands like forests and farms are critical to Maryland's economy, community and environment. These have included the Sustainable Forestry Act of 2009, Chesapeake Forest Conservation Directive 06-1 and The State of Chesapeake Forests report. The Sustainable Forestry Council utilized the findings of these previous efforts and new information to advise the Department of Natural Resources on timely forest conservation issues and appropriate actions to help Maryland implement a no net loss of forest policy. The recommended actions build on existing programs and regulations including the recent development of Watershed Implementation Plans to meet the Total Maximum Daily Load requirements for the Chesapeake Bay, the Forest Conservation Act, and local planning and zoning requirements. To read the Councilís report please click here.


The Sustainable Forestry Act of 2009 (SB549) was landmark legislation that expressed the importance of Marylandís forest to the environmental and economic well-being of the State. One section of the Act replaced the Forest Advisory Commission with the Sustainable Forestry Council. The purpose of this Governor appointed Council is to advise the Department on all matters related to:

  1. sustainable forestry management in the State,
  2. the expenditure of funds from the Woodland Incentive Fund,
  3. existing regulatory and statutory policies that are perceived as economic barriers to a viable forest products industry,
  4. new markets to enhance forest health, including renewable energy development through biomass energy, to offset fossil fuel consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,
  5. creative strategies to help privately owned forest lands better compete with real estate market values that are driving forest conversion and fragmentation,
  6. the means to promote forest-based economies and processing capability that contribute to economic and employment growth and
  7. assigning a nutrient benefit to forest stewardship plans and other forest conservation management plans that can be measurably tracked and reported by the number of forested acres covered by the plans.

The Council will be staffed by the Department of Natural Resources Ė Forest Service.


Meeting Dates

  1. Dates


  1. September 10, 2013
  2. July 9, 2013
  3. May 7, 2013
  4. March 26, 2013
  5. January 22, 2013
  6. November 27, 2012
  7. September 11, 2012
  8. May 3 & 4, 2012
  9. March 13, 2012
  10. November 22, 2011
  11. November 8, 2011
  12. October 4, 2011
  13. September 13, 2011
  14. June 21, 2011
  15. April 28, 2011
  16. March 15, 2011
  17. February 14, 2011
  18. January 18, 2011
  19. November 23, 2010
  20. October 26, 2010
  21. September 23, 2010
  22. June 3, 2010


  1. No-Net-Loss of Forest Policy
  2. PlanMaryland
  3. Land Acquisition and Planning
  4. Watershed Implementation Plan
  5. Wood Energy Potential
  6. Transmission Line Update


Sustainable Forestry Council Members

Eric Sprague, Chair
Pinchot Institute for Conservation
Annapolis, MD 21403

Donald Outen, Vice-Chair
Natural Resource Manager
Baltimore County Dept. of Environmental Protection & Resource Management
Towson, Maryland 21204

Gary Allen
Center for Chesapeake Communities
Annapolis, MD 21401

Kirk Rodgers
Private landowner
Woolford, MD 21677

Connie Hoge
Carroll County Forestry Board
Westminster, MD 21157

Gregory Purnell
Ocean City Arborist, retired
Ocean City, MD 21842

Kim Finch
MNCPPC, Prince Georgeís County Planning Department
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

Kenneth Roberts
NewPage Corporation
Westernport, MD 21562

Alberto Goetzl
Dream Catcher Farm, LLC
Adamstown, MD 21710

Big Trees