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Environmental Protection and Sustainability
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Forest Conditions and Trends Data

Better Data

The Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) conducts assessments of forest conditions and trends in order to inform dialogue and support sustainable forest management actions.

State of Our Forests 2007 (PDF) (December 2007) summarizes existing County, State, Federal and other data that characterize the ecological and economic sustainability of the County's forest resources, using the Montreal Process Criteria and Indicators framework. Unique at the local level, this report was included as one of only four documents presented by the U.S. at the World Forest Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2010.

The Urban Forest within Baltimore County’s Urban Rural Demarcation Line (PDF) (March 2009) provides data on the structure, health, and functions of forests and trees within the 130,000 acre Urban Rural Demarcation Line (URDL), using the Urban Forest Effects (UFORE) model. The report was prepared by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service in cooperation with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Some key findings of this study include:

  • The URDL contains 89 live tree species, with an estimated total of 6.76 million trees
  • The replacement value of trees within the URDL is $6.3 billion
  • The most common tree species within the URDL is Red Maple (9.1% of total trees)
  • The second most frequently occurring tree type is dead trees (8.7% of total), and the fifth is Ailanthus, a non-native invasive species (4.2% of total)
  • Urban trees are small:  58.3% of trees are  less than 6 inches in diameter
  • The Asian long-horned beetle threatens 42% of urban trees of several hardwood species, with a potential loss of $2.4 billion
  • The spread of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) pest could cause the loss of more than 325,000 ash trees within the URDL
  • The annual energy savings from trees within the URDL that shade residential buildings is estimated at 18.3 million
  • The annual building energy savings (avoided carbon emissions) from urban trees is estimated at 22,600 tons, valued at $0.467 million

Our Urban Forests (PDF) (March 2010) is a poster, prepared for the 2010 State of Our Watersheds Conference, that summarizes data from GIS analyses of urban tree canopy in the County.

Protection of Natural Resources Working Group report (PDF) (August 2009) is the final report of the County’s Sustainability Network working group that investigated the dynamics of forest carbon in the County, as part of investigation and recommendations for actions that support the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Revised October 16, 2012

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