Maryland Forest Preservation Act
Maryland’s Forest Preservation Act of 2013, which requires that the State stay at or above its current tree canopy of 40 percent, assists citizens and local governments who work to increase tree cover on their property with more tools and tax benefits. This first-of-its-kind legislation is part of a statewide effort to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, prevent further climate change and improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.

This legislation increases the amount of acres that are eligible for the program from 10-500 to 3-1,000 acres. The Forest Preservation Act of 2013 (House Bill 706) also adds a dual sustainability certification of State Forest requirement, where two outside parties have to certify a forest for it to be declared sustainable; Encourages smart growth by allowing development projects that are on impervious surfaces, and within a priority funding areas, to be eligible for exemption from the Forest Conservation Act; Requires the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) provide a statewide forest resource inventory to local jurisdictions at least every 5 years to ensure that local governments have the tools and technical assistance needed to adequately protect tree canopy cover; Increases penalties for individuals that maliciously start wildfires; and Aims to improve Forest Conservation Act compliance.

The new law will help enhance forestland and urban tree canopy, which will improve air and water quality, moderate climate, add to Maryland’s natural spaces and enhance its beauty, increase property values and provide more recreational opportunities. Trees also provide flood control, wood products, renewable energy and habitat for wildlife.

Contact Maryland Forest Preservation Act



Service Area

Statewide Program in:
  • Maryland