County Executive Jan Gardner today announced a legislative proposal to improve the preservation and conservation of Frederick County forests and tree canopy as our county develops and grows. Forests prevent flooding, reduce storm run-off, keep sediment and other pollution out of streams and creeks, and contribute to the overall quality of life in Frederick County.
“After seeing mass grading and tree removal, many asked me what the county is doing to protect our forests,” said Executive Gardner. “My goal is to conserve and protect our forests and farmland to ensure our long-term bright future for Frederick County.”
The number of acres of forested land in Frederick County continues to decline. Between 2001 and 2015, Frederick County lost more than 6,200 acres of forest, with 4,000 of those acres lost in a four-year period.
Executive Gardner is proposing amendments to the Frederick County Forest Resource Ordinance
(FRO), originally adopted 25 years ago to protect forests through conservation and preservation as well as “afforestation,” the planting of acres of trees where there were none previously. The FRO regulations were weakened in 2011 to match minimum standards set by the State of Maryland and restore longstanding requirements. Executive Gardner’s legislation would strengthen the county’s forest conservation efforts. The cost of these changes would be minimal to the average development and would only apply to new development in the future.
Please see the attached press release for additional information, visit www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/FRO or watch the public information briefing.