Montgomery County Planning Board Approves Proposed Changes to Forest Conservation Laws to achieve “No Net Loss of Forest”

Per Montgomery Planning:
WHEATON, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), has approved draft amendments to Chapter 22A of the Montgomery County Code (the Forest Conservation Law) and Chapter 22A of the Code of Montgomery County Regulations (the Forest Conservation – Trees Regulations) to transmit to the County Council at its April 28, 2022 meeting. The recommended changes are a product of Montgomery Planning’s No Net Loss of Forest Initiative, which seeks to achieve equal or greater area of forest planted than forest removed on a county-wide level, by projects subject to the Montgomery County Forest Conservation Law, while also allowing development to continue moving forward.

The draft amendments to the law and regulations include:

  • Increasing the amount of forest that needs to be preserved (forest conservation thresholds) in lower density land use categories, where additional space exists for on-site planting and protection.
  • Increasing forest planting (afforestation) requirements in the institutional land use category.
  • Increasing reforestation ratios and incentivizing required forest mitigation in the same watershed as the project or in a watershed considered high priority for forest planting or forest preservation.
  • Requiring planting of forest in unforested stream valley buffers, with some exceptions, such as if the stream valley buffer is not suitable to establish and retain required forest planting
  • Expanding options to create forest ecosystems and increase long-term resilience of planted forests.

Watch the presentation on-demand. Watch an update on the initiative from its project manager.

The No Net Loss of Forest Initiative began in November 2021 and these recommendations are a product of five stakeholder working group meetings. The working group included representatives from 24 different groups, including non-profits, agency representatives, and the development community. Led by Planning’s Forest Conservation staff, the working group reviewed data, reports, other counties’ recent amendments, and analyzed possible amendments using real projects with Forest Conservation Plans. This initiative aligns with several goals of the Montgomery County Climate Action Plan and Thrive Montgomery 2050, which generally include forest retention and restoration, increasing tree canopy, establishing strategies to protect plant diversity while complementing land use policies such as redevelopment, and improving the survivability of planted forests and trees.

Following the Planning Board’s approval, the recommended changes are being transmitted for introduction to the Montgomery County Council. Additionally, the draft amendments are currently under review by Maryland DNR for compliance with the enabling state Forest Conservation Act of 1991.

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.



2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES



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