State Departments Publish Draft of New Forest Harvest Guidelines

Press Release

 

Maryland Department of the Environment
Richard McIntire, MDE 410-537-3003
John Surrick, DNR 410-260-8020

State Departments Publish Draft of New Forest Harvest Guidelines

BALTIMORE, MD (September 28, 2000) – In an effort to continue improving Maryland’s water quality, stabilize streams and preserve soil, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have unveiled a draft of upgraded standards for commercial and private timber cutting in Maryland forests.

The Maryland Standards and Specifications for Forest Harvest Operations, when adopted as part of the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR), will be a legal working document that will govern forest harvest operations in Maryland. It specifically outlines the technical requirements for sediment and erosion control for timber harvesting in the state. In addition, it provides one-stop forest harvest specific guidance for waterway, non-tidal wetland and Critical Areas permitting.

The Maryland Standards and Specifications for Forest Harvest Operations were developed by MDE’s Water Management Administration and DNR’s Forest Service over the last few years to update the Standard Erosion and Sediment Control Plan for Forest Harvest Operations and the Soil Erosion And Sediment Control Guidelines For Forest Harvest Operations in Maryland created more than 20 years ago. That standard plan and those guidelines have provided the basis for design and approval of sediment and erosion control plans for many years and are currently the criteria used by the industry and regulators.

To promote better understanding of the Maryland Standards and Specifications for Forest Harvest Operations and gather feedback, copies of the draft document have been distributed to a wide range of stakeholders for informal review and comment. Those interested in reviewing and commenting on this document, may find it on the Internet at: http://www.mde.state.md.us and http://www.dnr.state.md.us in MicrosoftWord, WordPerfect, and Adobe PDF formats. Internet viewing of the document is encouraged, but those not having access can obtain a printed copy of the draft document via mail by calling (410) 631-3597, (410) 260-8505 or 1 (800) 633-6101 x3597.

Comments should be received no later than Oct. 31 and may be sent via e-mail to: pstoner@mde.state.md.us, or via regular mail to: Maryland Department of Environment, Water Management Administration, 2500 Broening Highway, Baltimore, MD 21224-Attn: Paul Stoner, Compliance Program.

MDE and DNR encourage those involved in the performance, approval, planning, or enforcement of forest harvest operations, to take advantage of this informal comment period as the Maryland Standards and Specifications for Forest Harvest Operations will be the primary standard regulating their business.

Once comments are received, they will be evaluated and potentially included in subsequent drafts of the Maryland Standards and Specifications for Forest Harvest Operations. A summary of comments received during this informal period will be made available. A formal public comment period will be opened prior to the Maryland Standards and Specifications for Forest Harvest Operations being included in COMAR.

MDE's primary mission is to protect and restore the quality of Maryland's air, water, and land resources. The department works to ensure achievement of the state's environmental goals while fostering economic development, safe communities, and environmental education.



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