Forested land with river running through
Forested land at Susquehanna State Park (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program with aerial support by Southwings)

Upcoming Meetings

Scope and Purpose

The Forestry Workgroup coordinates, develops and implements plans and projects which focus on the contributions of forest lands in restoring the health and productivity of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and in retaining their economic potential. The workgroup provides a forum to discuss issues and identify opportunities among the forestry community, interested individuals and organizations, and federal, state and local governments.

Objectives:

  • Enhance communication and education regarding forestry issues within the Bay watershed.
  • Identify the need and opportunities for demonstration projects and program development.
  • Promote the establishment and management of forests and trees in urban, rural, and developing areas to improve water quality, and aquatic and terrestrial habitats associated with the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
  • Promote forestry research and monitoring needed to evaluate forestcontributions toward protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Ensure that forest resource information pertinent to the Chesapeake Bay is available to individuals and organizations interested and/or involved in implementing the Chesapeake Bay Program.

The Forestry Workgroup also is pursuing the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement goal and outcomes to:

Vital Habitats Goal: Restore, enhance and protect a network of land and water habitats to support fish and wildlife and to afford other public benefits, including water quality, recreational uses and scenic value across the watershed.

  • Forest Buffer Outcome: Continually increase the capacity of forest buffers to provide water quality and habitat benefits throughout the watershed. Restore 900 miles per year of riparian forest buffer and conserve existing buffers until at least 70 percent of riparian areas throughout the watershed are forested.
  • Tree Canopy Outcome: Continually increase urban tree canopy capacity to provide air quality, water quality and habitat benefits throughout the watershed. Expand urban tree canopy by 2,400 acres by 2025.

Projects and Resources

Strategy Development for Innovative Finance of Riparian Forest Buffer Programs

The Environmental Policy Innovation Center (EPIC), with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Chesapeake Bay Trust, and Chesapeake Bay Program, developed an innovative financing strategy to incentivize greater riparian forest buffer planting to meet the Forest Buffers goal in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. The proposed Riparian Forest Buffer Outcomes Fund would help overcome barriers and create new incentives to plant more buffers.

Identifying Communications Needs for Tree Planting and Maintenance

This evaluation of public outreach and engagement for tree planting and maintenance was undertaken by OpinionWorks with support from the Chesapeake Bay Program and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. The goal of this work was to lift up best practices in public outreach employed by tree-related campaigns, and to identify the gaps that exist in tree campaigns’ ability to carry out effective outreach.

Chesapeake Riparian Forest Buffer 2022 Leadership Workshop

The Chesapeake Bay Program convened the 2022 Chesapeake Riparian Forest Buffer Leadership Workshop at the request of the Management Board’s Outcome Attainability Team. The objectives of the workshop were to 1) discuss state RFB Action Strategies for increasing the rate of forest buffer restoration and 2) develop recommendations for specific roles for the Partnership in advancing buffer goals.

To view the Chesapeake Riparian Forest Buffer 2022 Leadership Workshop page use this link.

To view Webinar 1: Technical assistance, outreach and social science for Riparian Forest Buffers use this link.

To view Webinar 2: Policy and funding/financing for Riparian Forest Buffers use this link.

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Publications

Forestry Workgroup BMP Verification Guidance

This section describes guidance on how to verify the existence and performance of forestry BMPs in the Bay watershed. It has been revised since the 2014 version to incorporate comments and also to reflect the high-resolution imagery data that has become available.

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WIP Forestry BMP Packet

The Forestry Workgroup created “A Guide for Forestry Practices in Chesapeake TMDL” to help localities, conservation agencies, community groups, states, and others planning and implementing best management practices (BMPs) during the Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) process. Forests are the best land use for protecting water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and forest BMPs are some of the most cost-effective for Bay restoration. This guide will show the value of forest retention and tree plantings, convey information about the various forest BMPs in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model, and provide examples of forest BMP scenarios in the Chesapeake Assessment Scenario Tool (CAST) to show partners what information is available, where to find it, and how to use it.

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Riparian Forest Buffer Management Strategy

This management strategy identifies approaches for achieving the following outcome: Continually increase the capacity of forest buffers to provide water quality and habitat benefits throughout the watershed. Restore 900 miles per year of riparian forest buffer and conserve existing buffers until 70 percent of riparian areas throughout the watershed are forested.

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Watershed Agreement

Vital Habitats Goal

Members

Anne Hairston-Strang (Chair), Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Address:
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  anne.hairston-strang@maryland.gov
Phone:  (410) 260-8509
Kesha Braunskill (Chair), U.S. Forest Service (USFS)
Address:
Delaware

Email:  kesha.braunskill@usda.gov
Katie Brownson (Coordinator), Watershed Specialist, U.S. Forest Service (USFS)
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  Katherine.Brownson@usda.gov
Sophie Waterman (Staffer), GIS Analyst, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  swaterman@chesapeakebay.net
Phone:  (410) 267-5704
Frank Rodgers, Cacapon Institute
Address:
Cacapon Institute
10 Rock Ford Rd
Great Cacapon, West Virginia 25422

Email:  frodgers@cacaponinstitute.org
Craig Highfield, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Suite 209
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  chighfield@allianceforthebay.org
Phone:  (410) 267-5723
Judy Okay
Address:
tbd
tbd, Virginia tbd

Email:  judyannokay@gmail.com
Matthew Keefer, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA DCNR)
Address:
P.O. Box 8767
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17105

Email:  makeefer@pa.gov
Phone:  (717) 214-3814
Lauren Townley, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Address:
625 Broadway
Albany, New York 12233

Email:  lauren.townley@dec.ny.gov
Phone:  (518) 402-8283
Julie Mawhorter, U.S. Forest Service (USFS)
Address:
151 Grey Towers Dr.
Milford, Pennsylvania 18337

Email:  julie.mawhorter@usda.gov
Phone:  (570) 296-9626
Caitlin Verdu, Virginia Department of Forestry
Address:
Virginia Department of Forestry 900 Natural Resources Drive
Suite 800
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903

Email:  caitlin.verdu@dof.virginia.gov
Terrance Lasher, Virginia Department of Forestry
Address:
Virginia Department of Forestry 900 Natural Resources Drive
Suite 800
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903

Email:  terry.lasher@dof.virginia.gov
Jeremy McGill, West Virginia Division of Forestry
Address:
61 5th Street
Building 1 Suite 201
Buckhannon, West Virginia 26201

Email:  Jeremy.R.McGill@wv.gov
Jim Woodworth, District of Columbia Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE)
Address:
1200 First St NE
Washington, District of Columbia 20002

Email:  james.woodworth@dc.gov
Robert Corletta, District of Columbia Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE)
Address:
1200 First St NE
Washington, District of Columbia 20002

Email:  robert.corletta@dc.gov
Lydia Brinkley, Upper Susquehanna Coalition
Address:
183 Corporate Dr
Owego, New York 13827

Email:  lbrinkley@u-s-c.org
Susan Minnemeyer, Nature Plus
Address:


Email:  susan@natureplussolutions.org
Chris Miller, Delaware Department of Agriculture
Address:


Email:  chris.miller@delaware.gov
Taryn Davidson, Delaware Department of Agriculture
Address:


Email:  taryn.davidson@delaware.gov
Catie Soriano, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
Address:


Email:  cathryn.soriano@delaware.gov