Description: Forests of Recognized Importance (FORI) areas were previously known as High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF), a term that is used by other forest sustainability certification bodies. These areas—as the Maryland Forest Service chooses to define them—are 100 foot buffers of Stronghold Watersheds (version 5), Trout bearing streams, streams feeding municipal drinking water reservoirs, and Maryland Department of the Environment Tier II High Quality Waters. Forests intercepting these areas during a management plan review should receive special consideration and protection and be buffered according to the Operations Order. This GIS data is representative of ground conditions, but not to the exclusion of streams (perennial or intermittent) that are not depicted in the data. If a stream (perennial or intermittent) is encountered on the ground, and is not depicted in this data, and meets any of the above criteria, the stream should be considered FORI, and management actions and plans should reflect this designation.
Description: The dataset displays the presence and absence of forested areas within a 100 foot-buffer of a stream or waterbody. The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) stream layer developed by the United States Geological Survey was buffered 100-feet on each side of the stream centerline to determine stream buffers in Maryland. A shoreline file developed by the Maryland State Highway Administration was buffered 100-feet to determine the shoreline buffer in Maryland. The resulting buffer layers were clipped with a forest cover layer to determine the presence and absence of forest in those buffers. The forest cover layer was derived from a tree canopy layer developed by the Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville, Geography Department. The tree canopy was developed using 2007 National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) color infra-red 1-meter imagery. To determine areas forested, contiguous areas of tree cover less than 1 acre were removed from the dataset and then used for clipping the stream and shoreline buffers.
Copyright Text: MD iMAP, Robert Feldt, DNR, Forest Service; Kevin Coyne, DNR, Geospatial Information and Analysis Division