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§ 8-102. Legislative findings

West's Annotated Code of MarylandAgriculture

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Title 8. Soil Conservation (Refs & Annos)
Subtitle 1. General Provisions (Refs & Annos)
MD Code, Agriculture, § 8-102
§ 8-102. Legislative findings
(a) The soil, water and related resources of the State are among the basic assets of the State and the conservation of these resources is necessary to protect and promote the health, safety, and general welfare of its people. Improper land-use practices cause and contribute to a progressively more serious erosion of the lands of the State by wind and water. The breaking of natural grass, plant, and forest cover has interfered with the natural factors of soil stabilization, causing loosening of soil and exhaustion of humus, and developing a soil condition that favors erosion. The topsoil is being blown and washed away and there has been an accelerated washing of sloping areas. These processes of erosion by wind and water speed up when absorptive topsoil is removed, causing exposure of less absorptive and less protective but more erosive subsoil. The failure by any land occupier to conserve the soil and control erosion on his land causes a washing and blowing of soil and water from his land onto other lands and makes the conservation of soil and control of erosion of other lands difficult or impossible.
(b) The consequences of soil erosion in the form of soil blowing and soil washing are: the silting and sedimentation of stream channels, reservoirs, dams, ditches, and harbors; the loss of fertile soil material in dust storms; the piling up of soil on lower slopes and its deposit over alluvial plains; the reduction in productivity or outright ruin of rich bottom lands by overwash of poor subsoil material, sand, and gravel swept out of the hills; deterioration of soil and its fertility, deterioration of crops grown on the soil, and declining acre yields despite development of scientific processes for increasing them; loss of soil and water which causes destruction of food and cover for wildlife; a blowing and washing of soil into streams which silts over spawning beds, destroys water plants, and diminishes the food supply of fish; diminution of the underground water reserve, which causes water shortages, intensifies periods of drought, and causes crop failures; an increase in the speed and volume of rainfall runoff, causing severe and increasing floods, which bring suffering, disease, and death; impoverishment of families attempting to farm eroding and eroded lands; damage to roads, highways, railways, farm buildings, and other property from floods and from dust storms; and losses in navigation, hydroelectric power, municipal water supply, irrigation developments, farming, and grazing.
(c) To conserve soil resources and control and prevent soil erosion, it is necessary that land-use practices contributing to soil wastage and soil erosion be discouraged and discontinued, and appropriate soil conserving land-use practices be adopted and carried out. Among the procedures necessary for widespread adoption are the carrying on of engineering operations such as the construction of terraces, terrace outlets, checkdams, dikes, ponds, ditches, and similar structures; the utilization of strip cropping, lister furrowing, contour cultivating, and contour furrowing; land irrigation; seeding and planting of waste, sloping, abandoned, or eroded lands with water conserving and erosion preventing plants, trees, and grasses; forestation and reforestation; rotation of crops; soil stabilization with trees, grasses, legumes, and other thick-growing, soil-holding crops; retardation of runoff by increasing absorption of rainfall; and retirement from cultivation of steep, highly erosive areas, and areas badly gullied or otherwise eroded.
Public policy
(d) It is the policy of the General Assembly to provide for the conservation of the soil, water and related resources of the State and for the control and prevention of soil erosion in order to preserve natural resources, control floods, prevent impairment of dams and reservoirs, assist in maintaining the navigability of rivers and harbors, preserve wildlife, protect the tax base, protect the public lands, protect and promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the people of the State, and otherwise enhance their living environment.
Economic competition
(e) It has been and shall continue to be the policy of this State that the activities related to soil conservation which are authorized by this title shall be pursued irrespective of the fact that such activities may displace or limit economic competition.


Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1; Acts 1974, c. 151; Acts 1983, c. 510.
Formerly Art. 66C, § 89.
MD Code, Agriculture, § 8-102, MD AGRIC § 8-102
Current through all emergency effective legislation from the 2020 Regular Session of the General Assembly.
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