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Forest conservation annual report310

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Forest conservation annual report310

  1. 1. Forest Conservation Annual Report<br />March 11, 2010<br />
  2. 2. Slowing & Mitigating Forest Loss within the Development Process<br />
  3. 3. 15 Years of Data<br />One plan in Agriculture<br />Reserve resulted in over 1,000 acres of forest preservation<br />ICC<br />
  4. 4. 15 Years of Data<br />AR Plan<br />forest preservation<br />(over 1,300 ac) <br />ICC forest lost<br />(over 700 ac)<br />
  5. 5. 2009 Data<br />Forest Retained<br />Forest Cleared<br />
  6. 6. 15 Years of Data<br />1994<br />1994-1995<br />1994-1996<br />1994-1997<br />1994-1998<br />1994-1999<br />1994-2000<br />1994-2001<br />1994-2002<br />1994-2003<br />1994-2004<br />1994-2005<br />1994-2006<br />1994-2007<br />1994-2008<br />1994-2009<br />Forest Retained<br />Banks Retained<br />Forest Cleared<br />Banks Planted<br />
  7. 7. Forest Layer Analysis<br />2008<br />1951<br />
  8. 8.
  9. 9.
  10. 10.
  11. 11.
  12. 12. The Backlog<br />
  13. 13. Former Tracking System<br />
  14. 14. Tracking Plan History & Data<br />
  15. 15. Digitizing Paper Files<br />Final FCP Stamped Approval<br /><ul><li>Fiscal Year
  16. 16. Forest Conservation Worksheet</li></ul>Easement Backlog Digitization<br /><ul><li>Platted
  17. 17. Non-platted</li></ul>Mitigation Documentation<br /><ul><li>Bank Certificate of Compliance
  18. 18. Offsite Agreement
  19. 19. Park Dedication Deed</li></ul>Forest Conservation Program Geodatabase<br />Inspection Record<br /><ul><li>Final Inspection</li></ul>EasementGeodatabase<br />Financial Security<br /><ul><li>Establishment
  20. 20. Release</li></ul>Forest Bank Geodatabase<br />Scanned & Archived<br />
  21. 21. Results<br />
  22. 22. Backlog Status Tracking <br />Under <br />Review<br />495 Files<br />Closed<br />916 Files<br />Active<br />611 Files<br />Exempt<br />2279 Files<br />
  23. 23. Forest Conservation Easement Tracking<br />Land Record ID<br />10648_185 <br />Recorded <br />9/14/1992<br />Land Record<br />13247_236<br />Recorded <br />2/7/1995<br />Plat Number 19827 <br />Land Record<br />16737_ 412<br />Recorded <br />2/2/1999<br />Recorded 8/15/1995<br />
  24. 24. Forest Conservation Easement Outreach<br />
  25. 25. Easement Compliance Update<br />
  26. 26. Projects Completed & Continuing Needs<br />Scanned Bank Documents<br />Hansen<br />Front-End User Apps for FCP Data<br />Ongoing Easement Layer Update<br />Online Legal Documents<br />Forest Bank Geodatabase<br />Forest Conservation Program Geodatabase<br />Easement Geodatabase<br />Completed <br />File Status Backlog<br />Easement Website<br />State-<br />Mandated Annual <br />Report<br />Underway<br />Scanned FCP Documents<br />Easement Compliance Program<br />
  27. 27. Front-End Users Applications<br />
  28. 28. Spring 2008<br />Spring 2009<br />Fall 2009<br />Land Swap<br />Fall 2010<br />Reddy Branch<br />
  29. 29. Help from Volunteers<br />
  30. 30. Rock Creek<br />
  31. 31. Watts Branch<br />
  32. 32. Planting Challenges<br />
  33. 33. Discussion<br />

Editor's Notes

  • Annual Report for the Forest Conservation ProgramEach year about this time the State requires us to report on the previous fiscal years forest conservation data.We use this opportunity to report not only the data for your comments but also to talk about other aspects of the program.
  • The purpose of the Forest Conservation Law is to slow down and mitigate forest losses due to developmentTools – information – NRI/FSD formula for mitigation of loss formula for adding forest to completely denuded areas forest conservation plan enforced throughout construction process forest conservation easements held in perpetuity Forest conservation banks in-lieu fees
  • Data reported to the State include: Tract area Existing forest on siteAnd then the data we’ve shown here: Forest Retention Forest cleared Planted forest Off site retention (banks)In addition: Areas of both existing and planted forest placed in easements We also keep track of stream buffers and floodplains affected by developmentNotice that the data generally tracks with more retention that clearingPlanting on site tends to be greater than off-site banks use.The state does not count landscaping, but in urban areas and for a fraction of requirements we do allow landscape credit. Spikes in graph are more often related to the size of a few individual plans than to general development activity.
  • This graph with just retained and cleared forest show how the data can be skewed by a single development plan.A simple sediment control plan resulted in over 1,300 acres of forest easements, not because of the forest conservation program, but because the private foundation that owns the property wanted to create that level of protection over the forest on their enormous property.We also felt that it was important to report the forest loss due to the ICC. Our organization was not the official reviewer of the forest conservation plan, but losses due to this highway overwhelm the fy2009 data.
  • Our data is now geo-referenced so that we can begin to get a sense of the losses and gains throughout the County.In this simplified graphic each circle depicts different levels of forest lost and retained.
  • This time sequence shows loss and retention over the past 15 years stating with 1994 the first year that data was reported.Areas of activity in the early part of the program stand out as Olney and Potomac.Germantown and Clarksburg are most recent areas of activity.One thing that clearly shows up is the relative loss to gain in the western part of the county.Although there may be losses to agriculture which are not regulated by the forest conservation law, loss to development are relatively smallcompared to preservation and planting in the same area. This is the area where nearly 90% of our forest conservation Bank are concentrated.673 ac of forest are protected by Forest Banks.
  • This trend correlated very well with general trends since 1951.We’ve recently completed a 1951 forest layer which has been very helpful in forest analyses.The same western area of the County that was once more heavily and with fewer conservation practices has seen significant gains over the last 60 years. Areas of loss since 1951 are predictably the greatest in areas of the down-county such as Potomac or Bethesda. Forest Quality has also seen changes since 1951. Forest used to exist in large tracts, probably on abandoned farms. In general forest is now much more fragmented. The perimeter to area ratio has more than doubled. Even areas that seem to have some continuity are revealed at closer look to be riddled by a variety of over and underground utility lines as well as road crossings. On the other hand our 2008 forest reflects our commitment to water quality protection. Areas once considered fertile farmland and historically denuded is slowly being encouraged to return to a forested condition. This has also resulted in a forest that although slender in places, is none-the-less more connected than in the past.
  • An example of this is the Clagget Farm in Potomac.The 1951 and 1979 air photos are identical in barely distinguishing a drainage area, let alone a steam.The Natural Resource Inventory prior to development showed a few individual trees along this “stream” area.Never-the-less under the forest conservation law we required a 100’ buffer area on each side of the stream and forest planting.This is what the stream looks like as of last fall. A very nice habitat has developed all along this area that had been denuded for probably more than a century. In addition, this restored headwater area is part of a continuous (except for road crossings) natural habitat corridor all the way down to the Potomac River – something that certainly was not true in 1951.
  • Progress report on the backlog:Quantifiable information about forest loss and the general effectiveness of the program. Ability to bring closure to these very lengthy forest conservation plans.
  • The old system: Forest conservation plan file Pink Sheet Excel Spread Sheets Ragged Rolls MicroficheIt worked okay for a much smaller program. But as we know, this program tends to be cumulative. Plans stretch years after construction takes place. They come back for revisions.
  • Easy data quantification Existing forestForest LossForest RetainedForest Planted on or off site
  • QC’ed the data – most up to date.Digitized legally recorded easements required by the plan.Legal agreements related to offsite mitigation or park dedication.Pre-Hansen Inspection recordsLooked for outstanding security bonds for forest planting.
  • 900 closed files35 boxes of files scannedScanned data now available to the general public on the internet.Scores of fc plans brought to completion.
  • So although through this back log process we’ve been able to close almost a 1,000 forest conservation plans,There are still over a 1,000 active plans and plans under review to track.
  • In addition to digitizing easements we’ve tracked down the corresponding legal documentation associated with each plan.This sometimes involves a history of documentation.
  • Enthusiastic response from the general public 424 visits 70% from being sent a direct link via E-mailStill working on getting the word out E-mail lists rack cards Montgomery cable program Website banner Gazette Article ESRI Blog (Greece and Japan)Surprised at the response from public agencies – our own staff who have incorporated use of this tool into their regular work program More proactive about contacting our fellow public servants about this toolModel for other efforts such as: Transportation Historic Preservation ParksEight other applications which you’ll be hearing more about from Research in a future meeting.
  • We’re moving forward with a compliance program for easements.Identified priority areas for inspection.Our plan originally was to contact each of the 10,000 or so property owners with air photo and letter explaining.However, budget constraints we’ve decided to send post cards to easement owners.But provide our inspection staff with these priority locations to begin incorporating into their inspection schedule.
  • BacklogScanned documentsScanned Banks DocumentsOn-going easement updateOn-line legal documentsEasement WebsiteCompliance ProgramAnnual report simplifiedDevelopment of staff user application Development of this tool will be done after the Hansen 8 launch in April
  • Looks like the planData transfer
  • Planting to take place on the 22nd of March.