Why Forests Matter in Montgomery County Maryland
From 2008 to 2016, development in Montgomery County Maryland cleared 1,383 acres of forests.
Top 7 reasons to support the Montgomery County’s Forest Conservation Law
- We cannot live without forests. One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide a year and puts out 4 tons of oxygen. (https://www.cbf.org/document-library/cbf-guides-fact-sheets/md-fca-fact-sheet.pdf)
- Living near a forest can provide you with fresher air to breathe.
- Research has shown that spending time in nature can help to reduce stress levels. Living near a forest can provide you with easy access to natural areas where you can relax and unwind.
- Forests can provide a wide range of opportunities for outdoor recreation, including hiking, camping, fishing, and wildlife watching. Living near a forest can make it easier to take advantage of these activities.
- Forests are home to a diverse range of plant and animal species. Living near a forest can provide you with the opportunity to observe and appreciate the natural world.
- Forests provide a range of ecosystem services, such as water filtration, erosion control, and carbon storage. Living near a forest can help to support these ecosystem services and contribute to a healthier environment.
- Green spaces are extremely important in urban areas. As cities become more densely populated, green spaces such as parks, gardens, and tree-lined streets can provide a range of benefits for both individuals and the environment.
Read this excerpt from the Glenmont sector plan, pages 51-52 regarding this parcel of land.
“The majority of the WMATA acreage is already preserved as a forest through a Category I Forest Conservation Easement, but public access is currently not provided to this forest. This forested area is the largest, contiguous tract of land with forest and natural resources within the Plan area. It should be preserved to provide opportunities for natural resource-based recreation, such as natural surface trails and nature interpretation. On May 21, 2012, the Legacy Open Space (LOS) Advisory Committee unanimously endorsed this forest for designation as a LOS Natural Resources Candidate Site in support of the need to provide natural recreation spaces for the County’s urban residents. Within the Plan area, there is no other forested area of similar size and quality potentially available for parkland acquisition. In addition to its size and the potential for the protection of high-quality natural resources, this forested area is directly adjacent to Glenfield Local Park and would be a logical expansion of parkland to provide increased natural resource-based recreation for the local community. Recommendation · Designate these five properties as a Legacy Open Space Natural Resource Candidate Site and add them to Glenfield Local Park.”
While there may be economic benefits to developing forested land, it's important to also consider the potential environmental, social, and cultural impacts of such development. Forests are often important recreational resources. The forest behind the Glenmont storage yard is home to barred owls, fox, racoon and other wild animals. Children play in the creek and residents walk their dogs in the forest behind the Glenmont storage yard.
I am grateful for the update to the Montgomery County Conservation Law (April 2023) with stricter rules to protect the forests. We cannot afford careless mismanagement of our natural resources.
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