(a) Authorization. -- Commercial harvesting of trees by selection, or by the clear-cutting of loblolly pine and tulip poplar, may be allowed to within 50 feet of the landward edge of the mean high water line of tidal waters and perennial tributary streams, or the edge of tidal wetlands, provided that the cutting is conducted in conformity with COMAR 27.01.05 and with a buffer management plan that is prepared by a registered professional forester and is approved by the Department.
(b) Buffer management plan. -- The plan shall be required for all commercial harvests within the buffer, regardless of the size of the area to be cut, and shall contain at a minimum the following requirements:
(1) Disturbance of stream banks and shorelines shall be avoided;
(2) The area disturbed or cut shall be replanted or allowed to regenerate in a manner that assures the availability of cover and breeding sites for wildlife and reestablishes the wildlife corridor function of the buffer;
(3) The cutting may not involve the creation of logging roads and skid trails within the buffer; and
(4) Commercial harvesting practices shall be conducted to protect and conserve the habitat protection areas in accordance with COMAR 27.01.09.02, .03, .04, and .05.
1997, ch. 248.