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Forest Conservation Plan

Forest Conservation Plan


A Forest Conservation Plan (FCP) is a document that outlines the specific strategies for retaining, protecting, and reforesting or afforesting areas on a site, pursuant to the 1991 Maryland Forest Conservation Act.

Forest Conservation:

For all Preliminary Plans, Site Plans, and Administrative Subdivision Plans, Forest Conservation Law must be satisfied.  This can be done in two ways:

  1. A Forest Conservation Plan Exemption (FCPE) application may be submitted prior to the submittal of a Preliminary, Site, or Administrative Subdivision Plan.  If confirmed, the Exemption allows the Preliminary, Site, or Administrative Subdivision Plan to proceed without an associated FCP.
  2. If your property or project does not qualify for an FCP Exemption, you must submit and receive approval of an Natural Resources Inventory (NRI) application before submitting a Forest Conservation Plan concurrently with either the Preliminary Plan, Site Plan, or Administrative Subdivision Plan.

In instances where forest conservation law must be met but an associated development plan is not required (such as for Sediment Control Permits), FCPs may also be submitted as standalone applications (i.e. not associated with a Preliminary, Site, or Administrative Subdivision Plan).

Development Review Committee (DRC):

FCPs go to DRC if they are concurrent with a Preliminary, Site, or Administrative Subdivision Plan.  If the FCP is submitted as a standalone application for Sediment Control, it does not go to DRC.

Decision Type:

Forest Conservation Plans are approved by the Planning Board with conditions that are binding on applicable private and public development, and certain land disturbing activity.  Standalone FCPs are approved or rejected by Planning Staff.


Forest Conservation Plan fees vary by project specifications.  Consult page 1 of our fee schedule to determine fee.

Review Time:

Submitted as concurrent with a Site or Preliminary Plan:  Planning Board Hearing must take place within 120 days of intake acceptance.

Submitted as concurrent with an Administrative Subdivision Plan:  Must be reviewed with the plan and approved no later than approval of the record plat.

Submitted by itself for Sediment Control purposes:  Must be reviewed, or approved within 45 days of intake acceptance.


FCPs may be amended.  Before submitting an amendment application, applicants must meet with planning staff and receive an amendment checklist that outlines the required submission items.

Application Instructions

Fill out this application form and email the PDF to  Once our team has received the application and entered it into our system, the primary contact listed on the application form will be asked to upload files to ePlans.

Essential Documents

Supporting Documents

Guides and Tools

Last Updated: April 6, 2023