The Maryland Forest Conservation Act enacted by the General Assembly in 1991 is designed to conserve the State’s forest resources during development activities. The Act requires identification of existing forest stands, protection of the most desirable forest stands, and establishment of areas where new forests can be planted. Forest conservation planning occurs during the initial design or site planning of a proposed development. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has adopted regulations which set the requirements and performance standards for local forest conservation programs.
The Charles County Forest Conservation Ordinance is pursuant to the requirements of Natural Resources Article 5, Subtitle 16, Annotated Code of Maryland. This Ordinance was initially adopted by Charles County on January 1, 1993, and is Chapter 298 of the Code of Charles County, Maryland. Submittal requirements for each type of plan are included in Chapter 298 and in the State Forest Conservation Technical Manual, which is adopted by reference in the Charles County Forest Conservation Ordinance. Fees are shown on the Fee Calculation Sheet below.
For individual tree removal, the Department will issue a Tree Removal Authorization at no charge, to ensure compliance with County codes. Anyone, who removes a tree or provides other tree care services for a fee is required by the State of Maryland to be a Licensed Tree Expert.
Offsite Forest Conservation Banking is an option for property owners. The purchase of easements within these banks is an option for development activities within the Development District, after techniques for retaining existing forest on the site have been exhausted. The sequence for onsite and offsite afforestation, reforestation and retention and the requirements for establishing a Forest Conservation Bank are found in Chapter 298, Article IX, of the Code of Charles County, Maryland.
The Maryland Forest Service is a great resource for forest facts, laws, and programs regarding State Forests, Urban and Community Forests, Forest Management, and Wildland Fires.
For more information on the County’s Forest Conservation Program, please contact the County’s Forest Conservation Planner at 301-645-0692.
Declaration of Intent for Real Estate Transfer Exemption (Posted 7/28/17)
Declaration of Intent for Intrafamily Transfer Exemption (Posted 7/28/17)
Declaration of Intent for Single Lot Exemption (Posted 7/28/17)
Declaration of Intent for Agricultural Exemption (Posted 8/28/17)
Forest Conservation Plan Application
Fee Calculation Sheet FY17 (Posted 7/28/17)
Forest Conservation Easement
Links and Reports
A Strategic Forest Assessment of Charles County Maryland, May 2009
Forest Conservation Slideshow
Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping
IMPORTANT PLEASE NOTE: All publications located within the Planning and Growth Management section of the web site are believed to be accurate as of their posting date. However, they may not be accurate on the day you view them. To verify whether these documents are the most current official document, please contact the division associated with the document in question.