FOR RELEASE ON DECEMBER 1
New Guide Explores the Importance of Forestry in Maryland
(ANNAPOLIS, MD) – Forestry grows food, creates hundreds of products and materials, supports the environment, and builds careers. Nearly 40% of Maryland is forested. As the single largest land use in the state, forests are vital to the health of the Chesapeake Bay and offer numerous environmental and economic benefits.
To promote and support this important industry, the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) and Grow & Fortify teamed up to develop a new resource guide ‘An Introduction to Southern Maryland’s Forestry Industry’ to highlight how responsible forest management benefits our state’s ecology and economy. The guide also encourages consumers to identify and seek out products made from locally sourced wood and explores forestry career opportunities.
Many climate experts believe that a responsibly managed forest offers one of the best and least expensive ways to mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon and using carbon-neutral renewable energy. “Forests also provide a viable timber market, incentivizing landowners to retain and care for their trees ensuring the overall health of their forests and habitat for wildlife,” said Kelly Dudeck, Chief Strategy Officer at Grow & Fortify.
In 2017, the statewide forestry industry directly contributed about $4.2 billion and supported 18,046 jobs in the Maryland economy. In Southern Maryland, forestry businesses contribute over $585 million to the state economy, supporting more than 3,000 jobs. “Forests provide much-needed employment and economic sustainability for our rural communities,” commented Shelby Watson-Hampton, SMADC Director. “And here in Southern Maryland, we are very fortunate to have the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center, which offers students a wide variety of career-specific programs in natural resources, including forestry.”
The new guide is available now as a digital educational resource for residents, entrepreneurs, and commercial interests. A brief video announcing the launch of the guide will be premiered for attendees at the 2021 Rural Maryland Council Summit on December 2. To view the guide and to learn more about the important role forestry plays in Maryland, visit growandfortify.com/forestry-guide or SMADC.com.
The Introduction to Southern Maryland’s Forestry Industry Guide and video were made possible in part by a Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund Grant (RMPIF) awarded to Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission.
About Grow & Fortify
Grow & Fortify is built to support value-added agricultural organizations and the businesses they represent. We’ve gathered a team of professionals to support agricultural startups and ensure the financial viability of our land, and ultimately, our community.
Grow & Fortify is currently retained to represent the Brewers Association of Maryland, the Maryland Distillers Guild, and the Maryland Wineries Association
SMADC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to expanding and promoting a viable and profitable agricultural community that supports farms and the future of agriculture in Southern Maryland and beyond.