Great news for Maryland's forests! On Friday, the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that forest conservation plans for development projects can be legally challenged after being approved. From now on, forests will have the same legal protections as wetlands and waterfront lands in Maryland.
This ruling comes at a critical moment in our work to protect Harford County's Abingdon Woods, where a developer intends to clear about 220 acres of forests—including the removal of 49 large, old growth trees that are specially protected under Maryland law. Now CBF can move forward with plans to contest the developer's forest conservation plan in circuit court.
While this ruling came down through our work in Harford County, the ruling sets precedent statewide. The court recognized the importance of Maryland's forest protection law and ensured plans that fall short can easily be challenged in court by citizens, nonprofits like CBF, community organizations, and more.
For decades, CBF has prioritized forest conservation efforts to reduce pollution to the Chesapeake Bay. The work has taken on greater importance in recent years because forests are imperative in the fight against climate change. They help filter our waters, increase property values, reduce energy costs, provide clean air and wildlife habitat, and improve public health.
Thank you for continuing to stand with us as we work to protect Maryland's forests and the Bay.
CBF's Press Release
Bay Journal/ Maryland Matters
- MoCo Forest Stories - Forests loved - too often lost. What do forests (and their protection) mean to you?
- Re-Leaf the Reserve- we've planted 25 acres so far - can your land host a forever forest?
- Re-Leaf Honor Cards - give a meaningful, clutter free gift that grows
- The way trees in a forest communicate and help each other will inspire you