© Chesapeake Bay Program (Chesapeake)

Chesapeake Forest Legacy Areas


Forest Legacy Areas reflect priority forest land selected by State forestry agencies to be eligible for conservation funding from the USDA Forest Service (USFS) Forest Legacy Program. The Forest Legacy Program helps to fund conservation easements and fee-simple acquisitions of priority tracts through a national, annual competitive process, in partnership with State forestry agencies and other partners.

Data Layer Description


USFS, Northeast Area State & Private Forestry, Forest Legacy Program


a) Extent: Chesapeake Bay states (VA, WV, MD, PA, DE, NY)

b) Scale: Chesapeake Bay watershed, compiled from state agencies


The Forest Legacy Program is a partnership between participating States and the USFS to identify and help protect environmentally important forests from conversion to nonforest uses. The main tool used for protecting these important forests is conservation easements. The Federal government may fund up to 75% of program costs, with at least 25% coming from private, state or local sources.

To be included in the Forest Legacy Program, a property must lie partially or entirely within a designated Forest Legacy Area. A Forest Legacy Area is an area that has been identified in the State’s Assessment of Need as containing important forests in need of protection from conversion to nonforest uses, in accordance with national Forest Legacy Program criteria. The Assessment of Need should be reviewed regularly by each State forestry agency and Forest Legacy Areas may be modified as a result. For example, the map layer displayed for Maryland should be considered DRAFT, as their most recent 2012 Assessment of Need is in the process of final review and editing.

How to get the data layer

Contact Julie Mawhorter, U.S Forest Service, Chesapeake Bay Program, 410-267-5708

How you might make use of this data layer

Private forest land conservation projects (easements or fee-simple) within Forest Legacy Areas are eligible to be submitted by the State forestry agency in the annual national competitive selection process of the Forest Legacy Program. Private landowners, land trusts, and other conservation organizations are encouraged to work with their State forestry agency to learn about program requirements and strategies for developing a competitive project proposal.

How to get more information

Learn more about the program from the Forest Legacy Program website (USFS Northeast Area State and Private Forestry) and from your State forestry agency. The State forestry agency can provide further information about their Assessment of Need and process for determining Forest Legacy Areas.

Access and use constraints

All Rights Reserved


USDA Forest Service (Northeastern Area State & Private Forestry) compiled the Chesapeake Bay layer from state Forest Legacy Area map layers.

Sample Map

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