Tell the Frederick County Council: Fix the Forest Resource Ordinance!

Trees are critical for clean water. And currently, under Frederick County law, developers can clear dozens of acres of forest on a site without re-planting a single tree. As a result, over the past five years, Frederick County has lost 335 acres of forest. This is a major loss for Frederick County — one acre of forest can produce between $12,000-$77,000 in environmental benefits each year!

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner is proposing amendments to the Forest Resource Ordinance (FRO) program that strengthens forest protections throughout the county to reverse this trend of forest loss. These amendments would require a one acre for one acre replacement for forest that is lost due to development. It’s only fair—you cut down a tree, you plant a new one. This directive will encourage better planning and design of developments throughout Frederick County.



We think Frederick’s forests are worth it. Don’t you? Our forests are critical to our health, environment, and way of life.

Use the form linked here and below to ask the Frederick County Council to support a one acre for one acre policy and fix the FRO!

Below is a copy of the sample letter you can send from this link. (PLEASE NOTE that you can easily personalize your message!)

Fix the FRO!

Dear Frederick County Council Members,

I support County Executive Gardner’s amendments to the Forest Resource Ordinance (FRO). Our local waterways, including Antietam Creek, rely on streamside trees for protection. These protective tree buffers filter pollution, prevent erosion, and provide habitat for wildlife. Frederick’s FRO program helps mitigate the impacts of tree loss from development, including along streams and rivers. The FRO program ensures that trees removed are replanted elsewhere in the county.

Under Frederick County’s current law, developers can clear dozens of acres of forest on a site without being required to re-plant a single tree. Over the past 5 years, Frederick County has lost 335 acres of forest. This may not sound like a lot, but keep in mind that one acre of forest can produce between $12,000-$77,000 in environmental benefits each year!

County Executive Gardner is proposing amendments to the FRO program that strengthen forest protections throughout the county to reverse this trend of forest loss. These amendments would require a one acre for one acre replacement for forest that is lost due to development and will encourage better planning and design of developments in the future.

Please support the County Executive’s amendments to fix the Forest Resource Ordinance.


Click here to download (as a pdf file) the Staff Report for “Amendments to Chapter 1-21 of the Frederick County Code” (Forest Resource Ordinance)

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