Frederick County Council will consider two bills to amend parts of the county's forest conservation policies. These two fixes would make Frederick County's forest protections the strongest in the state! The proposed amendments help conserve and protect our existing forests by limiting forest removal, strengthening replacement requirements, and requiring more stringent permitting guidelines. Add your name below. The final letter and all signatories will be submitted to the County Council before the March 31st hearing.
"What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”
Chris Maser, author
Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner
Frederick County Council Members
12 East Church Street
Frederick, MD 21701
RE: Proposed Forest Conservation Amendments to Forest Resource and County Zoning Ordinances
Bill 20-04, Amendments to Chapter 1-19 of the Frederick County Code - Position: SUPPORT
Bill 20-05, Amendments to Chapter 1-21 of the Frederick County Code - Position: SUPPORT
Dear County Executive Gardner and Council Members:
We, the undersigned, members of Frederick County's diverse faith community, strongly support the following proposed amendments. Although some aspects of our faiths may differ, we unite in our respect for creation, and we share the moral duty to care for it.
We support the overall goal of the proposed amendments, namely no net loss of Frederick County forests. We approve efforts to restore our county’s forest conservation guidance through proposed amendments to Chapter 1-21 of the County Code, the Forest Resource Ordinance, and we approve adding environmental resource protection to the terms of Chapter 1-19 of the County Code, Zoning Ordinance. The proposed amendments help conserve and protect our existing forests by limiting forest removal, strengthening replacement requirements, and requiring more stringent permitting guidelines. We have been neither managing or protecting our forests sustainably.
Our remaining forests are under great pressure from accelerating development. Frederick city has the highest rate of population growth among the state’s municipalities, and the county ranks third in population increase. Combined with human pressures, we anticipate escalating climate pressures including flooding rains, strong storms, erratic severe droughts, and increasingly higher annual average temperatures. Add to these stressors the fact that Frederick County, under our current ordinances, loses +/-70 acres of forest per year, much of it to development.
Our trees and forests are a gift to us and all of life. They clean our water, hold our soil, filter our air, shade us from heat and buffer us from strong winds. They support the balance of all lives on earth, including our own. The gain of some from felling them is felt as loss by the rest of us - and by future generations. Although many of our congregations are planting trees, we cannot keep up with the pace of forest decimation. We need your support. We believe that in order to truly love one another, we must care for the Earth that we share.
Please support Bills 20-04 and 20-05.
[Signed names will be added - please include your address so we can verify that you live in Frederick County]
The Multi-faith Alliance of Climate Stewards of Frederick County
Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake