MFC Glossary: Key Terms & Definitions for Developers and Consultants

MFC Key Terms & Definitions

Afforestation: The establishment of a forest or stand of trees in an area where there was no previous tree cover. (Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 5-1601)

Critical Area: All lands within 1,000 feet of the Mean High Water Line of tidal waters or the landward edge of tidal wetlands and all waters of and lands under the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. (Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 8-1802)

Forest Conservation Plan (FCP): A plan that outlines the strategies for retaining, protecting, and reforesting environmentally sensitive areas during and after the development process. (Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 5-1604)

Forest Conservation Threshold: The percentage of the net tract area at which the reforestation requirement changes from a ratio of 1/4 acre planted for each acre removed to a ratio of 2 acres planted for each acre removed. (Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 5-1606)

Forest Cover: The area of a site meeting the definition of forest. (Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 5-1601)

Forest Mitigation Bank: An area of land which has been intentionally afforested or reforested for the express purpose of providing credits for reforestation requirements. (Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 5-1601)

Forest Retention: The act of retaining existing areas of forest on a site. (Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 5-1607)

Forest Stand Delineation (FSD): A detailed inventory of existing forest and environmentally sensitive areas on a site. (Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 5-1603)

Net Tract Area: The total area of a tract, including both forested and non-forested areas, to the nearest 1/10 acre, reduced by the area found to be within the boundaries of the 100-year floodplain. (Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 5-1601)

Priority Retention Area: Forested areas, identified in a forest stand delineation, which are ranked as highest priority for retention based on site-specific conditions and the environmental benefits they provide. (Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 5-1607)

Reforestation: The creation of a biological community dominated by trees and other woody plants containing at least 100 trees per acre with at least 50% of those trees having the potential of attaining a 2-inch or greater diameter measured at 4.5 feet above the ground, within 7 years. (Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 5-1601)

Selective Clearing: The careful and planned removal of trees, shrubs, and plants using specific standards and protection measures under an approved Forest Conservation Plan. (Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 5-1601)

Specimen Tree: A tree that is part of a forest stand, or is located on a site subject to an FSD or FCP, and which is considered a priority for retention due to its species, size, condition, location, or other criteria. (Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 5-1607)

Stream Buffer: A strip of land contiguous with and parallel to the bank of a perennial or intermittent stream, the width of which is determined by the jurisdiction in accordance with the criteria set forth in the State Forest Conservation Technical Manual. (Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 5-1607)

Timber Harvesting: A tree-cutting operation affecting 1 or more acres of forest or developed woodland within a 1-year interval that disturbs 5,000 square feet or more of forest floor. (Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 5-1601)

Tree: A large, branched woody plant having one or several self-supporting stems or trunks that reach a height of at least 20 feet at maturity. (Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 5-1601)

Tree Protective Device: A physical structure, such as fencing, installed prior to construction for the purpose of preventing damage to trees during construction activities. (Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 5-1607)

Wetland: An area that is inundated or saturated by surface water or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances does support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions, commonly known as hydrophytic vegetation. (Md. Code Ann., Envir. § 5-901)

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A Note to Our Readers: We hope this guide is a valuable resource in helping you better understand the . However, it's not a substitute for professional advice and doesn't cover every scenario. Always consult with regulatory bodies and professionals for the most current advice and project-specific guidance.