Forestry Board Information and History
When the Maryland Legislature established Forestry Boards in each County of Maryland in 1943, Anne Arundel County was a very rural, agrarian society. The major crops were tobacco, and large truck gardens in the northern part of the county. Forestry issues of that era reflected those times and were mainly related to timber production. Members of the Board were primarily farmers.
In the 1960s, with the advent of urban development in the County, large farms, particularly in the north, began subdivision. This change was accompanied by a growing awareness of environmental issues, particularly those related to the Chesapeake Bay, and the focus and composition of the Board widened.
A major concern of our Board has always been with public education. The AA Co Forestry Board in 1975 was a primary founder of the first “Camp Hickory”, now called Natural Resources Careers Conference, and we have enabled numerous students to investigate careers in Natural Resources. Many “school forest” plantings have been established on school grounds around the county, and we have conducted teacher enrichment workshops on forest and other environmental issues.
Our Board members have led involvement and testified in many legislative debates at both the state and local levels including Critical Area legislation, and forest/open space easements. Although a citizen volunteer organization, we have been given the responsibility of reviewing and approving timber harvest plans in the Critical Area of AACo and work closely with County Government officials on forest issues.
Public information programs include sponsoring a popular bi-weekly article, “TREE TALK” in the Capital newspaper for nearly 20 years, and holding workshops on topics of interest to local forest landowners, such as invasive species management. We have sponsored numerous tree-planting projects, and conducted woodlot tours for citizens and legislators.
As we move into the 21st Century, our Board is composed no longer of farmers alone. We include educators, forest professionals, small landowners, community and environmental activists, professional foresters and government officials, to name only a few. But we all share a common bond working to conserve and enhance our County’s natural resources by good forest management practices and citizen awareness.
You can contact the Anne Arundel County Forestry Board via e-mail: email@example.com