A. In this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated.
B. Terms Defined.
(1) “Afforestation” means the establishment of tree cover on an area from which it has always or very long been absent, or the planting of open areas which are not presently in forest cover, as defined by Natural Resources Article, §5-1601, Annotated Code of Maryland.
(a) “Forest”, as defined by Natural Resources Article, §5-1601, Annotated Code of Maryland, means a biological community dominated by trees and other woody plants covering a land area of 10,000 square feet or greater.
(b) “Forest” includes:
(i) Areas that have at least 100 trees per acre with at least 50 percent of those trees having a 2-inch or greater diameter at 4.5 feet above the ground and larger; and
(ii) Forest areas that have been cut but not cleared.
(c) “Forest” does not include orchards.
(3) “Forest easement overlay” means a perpetual restriction placed on an existing Foundation easement property to create, restore, or preserve forest, whether for current tax or other incentives, to bank credits under a forest mitigation banking plan, or to meet requirements prescribed by the State or local authority to mitigate activities elsewhere on the property consistent with the agricultural land preservation easement held by the Foundation.
(4) “Forest mitigation” means the process by which the environmental impact of various development activities, from road construction to residential housing, is mitigated or offset by the restoration, enhancement, creation, or retention of forested land elsewhere, as required by the Maryland Forest Conservation Act of 1991, Natural Resources Article, §§5-1601—5-1613, Annotated Code of Maryland.
(5) “Forest mitigation banking” means the intentional restoration or creation of forests undertaken expressly for the purpose of providing credits for afforestation or reforestation requirements with enhanced environmental benefits from future activities, as defined by Natural Resources Article, §5-1601, Annotated Code of Maryland.
(6) “Forest stewardship plan” or “forest management plan” means a plan prepared by a Maryland-licensed professional forester designed to manage land for productive, sustainable woodland purposes.
(7) “Resource conservation purpose” means to preserve soil and natural resources, reduce sediment and nutrient runoff, or improve air and water quality through the implementation of one or more best management practices.