Assembly needs to better
preserve our forests.
A Growing Investment
Mark Lynn is a banker. But his branches
actually have leaves. On a recent fall day,
he showed a visitor one of his offices: a
young forest growing up on both sides
of Long Arm Creek in northern Carroll
Lynn is in the business of forest banking.
His clients are developers.
In Carroll County where Lynn works,
a builder must replant one acre of
trees for each one he cuts down. If
the developer doesn’t wish to do the
actual planting, he can buy equivalent
acres from landowners such as Lynn.
These bankers commit to growing and
maintaining the new forests. It’s a side
business for Lynn. He works full time in
the crop insurance industry.
Carroll County was the first county in
Maryland to try forest banking, and it has
arguably been the most successful. While
the state as a whole has lost nearly 16,000
acres of trees to developers’ bulldozers
in the past nine years, Carroll County
has actually gained forests because more
acres were replanted than cut.
Lynn said the program brings multiple
benefits. He pointed to some houses
recently built on a ridge above Long
Arm Creek. He said a new forest planted
along the stream not only created
habitat for rabbits, deer, and other
animals, it also helped protect the
stream from the developing landscape.
And, it maintained the rural feel of the
area, which attracts newcomers.
“The houses behind us here, that’s
inevitable. People want to move out to
the country,” Lynn explained. “But you
have to give back…That’s the ecological
cycle. That’s why trees are just a
Lynn, who came to love trees while
working in his family’s orchard business,
about 300 acres in various locations in
the county over 15 years. Altogether,
Carroll County has required builders
to replant 872 acres of forest, in
addition to retaining 3,351 acres on the
development sites. Some other counties
in Maryland have a much more lenient
replanting requirement for builders than
CBF and its partners will attempt for a
second time in the Maryland legislature
this year to spur other counties to
improve their programs for saving
forests. Forests are too valuable for clean
air and water. And taxpayers end up
paying more if local governments allow
forests to be cut without consequences.
U To learn more about Maryland’s
legislative priorities, visit
Mark Lynn is a tree banker in Carroll County, Maryland. As a banker, Lynn commits to
growing and maintaining acreage purchased by developers who have reduced forest size.
While Maryland as a whole continues to lose thousands of acres of trees to development,
Carroll County is gaining forest acres through programs like forest banking.
CHESAPEAKE BAY WATERSHED
LUCIDITY INFORMATION DESIGN, LLC
Department of Natural
Resources, from individual
county annual reports
Net Forest Acres
SAVE THE BAY 23