[imageframe link=”/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/house3-500×375.jpg” ] Private forestland plays a vital role in helping to maintain water quality and overall watershed health.The Alliance’s Forestry for the Bay program has developed and is offering a four hour professional course for Maryland realtors. In Maryland, and throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, private forestland plays a vital role in helping to maintain water quality and overall watershed health. During the past two decades there has been a rapid increase in the number of forest landowners in the region. Often the only person many new landowners have contact with in terms of understanding the nature of their land purchase is their real estate broker.

This course is designed specifically to educate realtors about the economic, ecological and social importance of forest ownership while helping them become versed in the various opportunities and incentives that exist for these woodland owners. Modeled on Virginia Tech’s award winning Real Forestry for Real Estate program, the course serves also to enhance the marketability of realtors themselves as more knowledgeable land brokers with a better understanding of their product, properties with forestland.The Alliance offered its first course on February 7th at Allegany College of Maryland, in Cumberland, in collaboration with the college and the Historic Highlands Realtor Association. The course drew over 60 realtors along with several private woodland owners and even a dozen natural resource students from the college. Participating realtors received professional continuing education credits, free access to the new Maryland Realtors Natural Resources Portal that contains all the presentations and materials covered during the course, and a supply of the Alliance’s new Welcome to Your Woods publication, which is designed specifically for realtors to be able to distribute to potential new clients.

The next course is scheduled for May 2nd at Wor-Wic Community College in Salisbury. Future courses will also be held this fall in both Cecil County and Baltimore County. Forestry for the Bay intends eventually to be able to offer this course in other bay watershed states.

For more information on Forestry for the Bay or the Maryland Realtors Courses, visit forestryforthebay.org or contact  Craig Highfield at Chighfie@chesapeakebay.net  or 410-267-5723