Reforestation Law 5-103

5-103. Reforestation.

(a) Definitions - (1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

(2) "Construction activity" means construction of a highway by a constructing agency.

(3) "Constructing agency" means:

(i) A unit of State or local government; or

(ii) Any other person who uses State funding and performs any construction activity with the State funding.

(4) (i) "Forest" means a biological community dominated by trees or other woody plants covering a land area of 1 acre or more.

(ii) "Forest" includes an area that has been cut but not cleared of trees or other woody plants.

(5) "Watershed" means all lands lying within an area described as a sub-basin in water quality regulations adopted by the Department of the Environment.

(b) Government to minimize cutting or clearing. - To accomplish a construction activity involving land clearing, a unit of State of local government or any other person using State funding for the construction project:

(1) May cut or clear only the minimum number of trees and other woody plants that are necessary and consistent with sound design practices; and

(2) Shall make every reasonable effort to minimize the cutting or clearing of trees and other woody plants.

(c) When required. -(l) If the total area of forest cut or cleared in connection with a construction activity by a unit of State or local government or any other person using State funding for the construction project equals 1 acre or more, the constructing agency shall locate an equivalent area of State owned or other publicly owned land to be reforested by the Department at a rate of 10 cents per square foot of the area of required planting.

(2) (i) Except as provided in subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, the reforestation projects shall be established on any public land within the county and watershed in which construction activity by a unit of State or local government has caused a loss of trees where the public entity that owns the land egress to that use of the land.

(ii) If the reforestation project cannot be reasonably accomplished in the county and watershed in which the construction activity is located, then the reforestation shall occur in the county or watershed in the State in which the construction activity is located.

(3) The constructing agency shall reimburse the Department for the reforestation activities at an appropriate rate of 10 cents per square foot of the area of required planting.

(4) Any land for a reforestation project shall be:

(i) If possible, on the site or in the project right-of-way being used for the construction activity;

(ii) If sufficient area is not available at the site or within the project right-of-way, on State owned or other publicly owned land in the county and watershed in which the construction activity is located; or

(iii) If the reforestation project cannot be reasonably accomplished in the county and watershed in which the construction activity is located, on State owned or other publicly owned land in the county or watershed in the State in which the construction activity is located.


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