Strategies for Bay forests
The “State of the Chesapeake Forests” report set 16 specific strategies to help protect forests, habitats, drinking water sources, jobs and public health in the future. They include:
1. Protect the Chesapeake’s exceptional forest resources— on a landscape scale—after identifying, conserving and restoring forests that have high environmental, economic and social value.
2. Direct land use planning efforts to reduce the loss and fragmentation of forest resources in developing areas.
3. Lower the risk of forest loss from parcelization by encouraging management on family-owned and other private forests.
4. Protect large tracts of forest land by enhancing the viability of the forest products industry.
5. Sustain the naturally high diversity of Chesapeake forests by managing for a variety of habitats and balanced deer population.
6. Protect Chesapeake forests from widespread damage by preventing new introductions of invasive plants, pests and pathogens; curbing the sale of highly invasive species; and focusing control efforts on high-priority forests.
7. Recognize the public benefits of private forest land by compensating landowners with funding and other incentives to sustainably manage their forests to benefit the Bay watershed.
8. Make forest conservation and restoration a primary tool for improving stormwater management by accounting for the superior ability of forest land to remove pollutants, improve stream health and moderate runoff.
9. Sustain the ability of forest land to improve water quality by restoring and managing forest cover in areas with high nitrogen air deposition rates.
10. Use tree canopies to protect public health by incorporating forest benefits in air quality attainment strategies.
11. Maximize watershed benefits by ensuring that forests buffer more than 70 percent of the riparian areas in a watershed through a combination of incentives and regulation.
12. Ensure a long-term drinking water supply and reduce treatment costs by protecting and restoring forests in high priority areas.
13. Expand existing urban tree canopies to enhance environmental benefits, public health and quality of life by assessing tree cover, setting local goals and adopting implementation plans.
14. Bring ecological services into the marketplace by establishing forest mitigation and trading systems and a registry to facilitate transactions.
15. Communicate the public’s dependency on forests for daily needs such as high quality drinking water, clean air, jobs and recreational opportunities, as well as articulate the need for sustainable management.
16. Measure changes in the state of the Chesapeake’s forests through a set of condition indicators.
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