February 8, 2001
Conserve Chesapeake Bay Forests
The forests closest to the Chesapeake Bay and in the region’s fast-growing metropolitan areas are on the path of continued loss and fragmentation, which could irreversibly damage the Bay’s watershed and harm the region’s economy. Fortunately, policymakers are beginning to recognize the significant influence forestlands have on maintaining water and air quality, biological resources, economic productivity, and local residents’ quality of life. Last June, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, the District of Columbia, the intergovernmental Chesapeake Bay Commission, and several federal agencies made a new commitment to “promote the expansion and connection of contiguous forests” in the Bay watershed by signing a new Chesapeake Bay Agreement.
At a recent Associates seminar, Rick Cooksey (US Forest Service), Michael Foreman (Virginia Department of Forestry), and Jim McElfish (Senior Attorney, ELI) discussed how states, citizens groups, landowners, and industry can collaborate in protecting the Bay’s forests and the region’s economic growth.