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Forest conservation plan gets award

January 20, 1999

Washington County has received a 1998 Distinguished Achievement Award for its Forest Conservation Fund Program.

The Chesapeake Bay Local Government Advisory Committee gave the award to the county after the program was submitted to the committee's Local Innovations Awards Program by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Steve Goodrich, county chief senior planner, told the commissioners about the award and the program during Tuesday's meeting.

In a letter to Goodrich, State Forest Conservation Program Coordinator Marian Honeczy said that not only were state officials impressed with the program but they were considering adapting it on the state level.

"Steve and county staff have done a good job on this program," County Commissioner Bert Iseminger said. It is an innovative approach to state mandates, he said.

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Under the program, developers who can't save existing forest land or plant new trees on site have the option of paying a fee to the county's forest preservation program.

That money is used to help protect sensitive areas, especially stream buffers, and provides for the purchase of protective easements from private property owners to plant new trees or preserve existing forested buffers, county officials said.

- Scott Butki

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