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Chesapeake Bay Critical Areas and Forest Conservation Areas

Guidelines for Completion of a Standard Vegetation Management Plan (also know as a Buffer Management Plan) 
If any vegetation is planned to be removed within 1000-feet of tidal waterways and their tributaries, or if your property is within a recorded Forest Conservation Easement, the attached Standard Vegetation Management Plan (VMP) must be completed and submitted to Inspections and Permits for approval prior to beginning work.
All requests for approval must include a property sketch indicating the on-site location of the vegetation or individual trees to be removed. Requests submitted without a sketch may be rejected.
Requests for the removal of individual trees (only) that are submitted with photos and a narrative description detailing the need for removal may be processed expeditiously.
Individual trees proposed for removal must be marked with flagging, tape or paint for inspection purposes. Do not remove trees or vegetation until a signed/approved copy of the VMP is received.
Post the approved VMP (or have a copy available on-site) when work is being performed. This is required for inspection purposes.
Pruning of trees may only be performed by the homeowner or a State of Maryland Licensed Tree Expert. Work not performed to industry standards (ANSI A300) may be reported to the State Department of Natural Resources and/or any other licensing agencies. Topping of trees will not be approved and may be considered a violation.
Requests for removal of understory vegetation, including shrub layer and invasive (vine) material, must be identified or noted on the property sketch. Understory vegetation, including invasive vines, is considered habitat. Replacement with native vegetation on an equal area basis will be necessary.
Extraction of root systems, including root systems of invasive vines may not be approved by a vegetation management plan. Extraction of root systems, other than grinding of stumps, constitutes grading and will require application for a Grading Permit or Plan through the Permit Center.
If the proposed work is occurring both inside the Critical Area 100-foot buffer, as well as outside the buffer, please indicate as such on the site plan.
If there is an open Building or Grading Permit, the requested VMP may be rejected and the applicant will be instructed to revise the open permit.
If the VMP is for a non-structural, non-impervious pathway, a site plan indicating the size and area of work must be submitted. Disturbance for access must be less than 5,000 square feet. Any disturbances greater than 1,000 square feet may be referred to the Grading and Inspections Division.
 A  list of Licensed Tree Experts may be obtained at the DNR Forest Service Website found at



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