Thursday, January 14, 2010

Logging the Pocomoke State Forest?

Yes, once again this year the Maryland Forest Service is planning to log more of the Pocomoke State Forest. Dr. Joan Maloof, the ecology representative of the forest’s Citizen’s Advisory Committee, is particularly disturbed about plans to harvest in the “Corbin Canyon” area of the State Forest. “This is one of the most beautiful forests on the Eastern Shore,” she says. “In every season one comes away refreshed and renewed after spending time in the Corbin Canyon. In the winter small, twisting streams run through the forests – these are the headwaters of the Corbin Branch, a tributary of the Pocomoke River. In the spring there are mountain laurel and blueberry flowers everywhere, and the birds return. In the summer one may be surprised by spotting rare wild orchids, and in the fall the many species of native trees and mushrooms fill the forest with their own special hues.”
“Although the Forest Service plans to leave a buffer around the streams, logging will fragment the forest – making it less valuable for wildlife – and more vulnerable to invasive species. It will also destroy the aesthetic value of the forest. I would like to see this special area left uncut,” she says – “for the plants and animals that live there now, and also for the present and future generations of human visitors. I would like to see it designated as either park land or wildland.”
The public comment period for the annual work plan runs from January 14 – February 14. A comment area should be available online at (Although it was not available at the time of this posting.) The plan which proposes logging in Corbin Canyon is the 2011 plan. If you cannot find the comment area on the website, or if you would like to speak with someone by telephone, you may call the Pocomoke State Forest at 410-632-3732 or Steven Koehn, the State Forester in Annapolis, at 410-260-8531 ( This forest belongs to you, this is your opportunity to make your feelings known. The timber industry representative is in favor of logging in the Corbin Canyon area.
Directions to the forest: Snow Hill Road (Rt 12) to Nassawango Road (just before the town of Snow Hill). Past the Nassawango Golf Course make a right onto Camp Road. Soon you will come to a recreational parking area on the left. Milburn Landing Tract 16 Stand 10 begins directly across the road from this parking area. Walk to the north and you will see the two gated paths that lead to the interior of the forest. Free and open to the public.

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