Garrett Soil Conservation District | Forestry Resources



Garrett Soil Conservation District

1916 Maryland Highway Suite C

Mountain Lake Park, MD 21550





Forestry Resources





Maryland Environment Article, Title 4, Subtitle 1 requires that an erosion and sediment control plan be approved before disturbing 5000 square feet or 100 cubic yards of earth. This includes the building of roads, skid trails, landing areas, and any other disturbance associated with forest harvest operations.



Standard Plan


Maryland has developed a Compliance Agreement for the Standard Erosion and Sediment Control Plan for Forest Harvest Operations, commonly referred to as a Standard Plan. This plan lists general sediment control requirements and the site conditions to which the plan is applicable. If all the conditions of the Standard Plan cannot be met, it is necessary to have a plan amendment or modification prepared by a licensed forester. It is important that a request for a Standard Plan modification identify the location of the modification and the specific sediment control measures to be used. The Compliance Agreement is the part of the plan that an operator/applicant signs verifying that the harvest operation will be conducted according to the conditions of the Standard Plan.



Buffer Management Plan


The Standard Plan requires that uncut buffer zones called Stream Side Zones (SMZ) be maintained on all sides of perennial or intermittent streams, rivers, drainways, and lakes. The width of the buffer is dependent upon the slope of the land adjacent to the watercourse and is based upon the following formula:


Average Percent Slope to Watercourse

Width of Buffer on each side of Watercourse (feet)












Limited harvesting is permitted within a buffer provided that a Buffer Management Plan is prepared by a licensed forester. The objective of the Buffer Management Plan is to ensure that an effective wooded buffer of 60 square feet/acre of basal area of evenly distributed trees, and 6 inches or greater in diameter of acceptable growing stock remains after harvest and that minimal damage occurs to the humus or litter layer within the buffer.



Non-Tidal Wetlands


The Maryland Non-Tidal Wetland Protection Act regulates forest harvest operations occurring in non-tidal wetlands. The act requires a person conducting forest harvest activities in non-tidal wetlands to implement Best Management Practices (BMP) to protect the wetlands. The Best Management Practices must be incorporated into the erosion and sediment control plan prepared for the harvest operation, and submitted to the Conservation District for approval if wetlands are present. This is accomplished by including a Wetland BMP Checklist with the sediment control plan that identifies the specific measures that will be implemented or followed to protect the wetlands.


The Non-Tidal Wetland Regulations require that a wetland delineation be provided to the Conservation District for verification as part of the erosion and sediment review and approval process. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the delineation to be verified by the Conservation District. In determining the presence of non-tidal wetlands, it may be beneficial to consult the county soil survey for the occurrence of hydric soils and hydric soils with inclusions. Also, Wetlands of Special State Concern maps are available for viewing at the Conservation District office.


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