A forest management plan is a document that clearly defines a landowner’s objectives, describes the current conditions of the forest, and recommends a schedule of activities that will achieve those goals. Management plans are working documents that will need to change as objectives, and conditions (environmental, economic, and regulatory) change. Our mission is to provide our clients with a plan that best meets their needs and budgets.
1. Tax Plans (Basic Forest Management Plans)– North Carolina law requires that County Tax Assessors offer a permanent deferment of property taxes to landowners who manage more than 20 acres of forestland for the commercial production of timber. This program, called the Present-Use Value Program, requires qualifying landowners to have a forest management plan prepared that includes a statement of landowner objectives, location and stand maps, stand descriptions and recommendations, a schedule of activities and regeneration methods. These basic criteria are included in all forest management plans we prepare.
2. Comprehensive Forest Management Plans– Landowners who manage larger tracts, multiple tracts, have unique management objectives, or are considering significant management activity in the near future may benefit from a plan that includes a quantitative inventory of the forest, detailed mapping work, or additional analysis of management options.
3. Other Plan Formats– Many other non-profit and governmental entities require specific formats for management plan documents. Whatever the entity, if their goals align with our clients goals, we will prepare our management plan to their specifications. Some of these groups include…
American Tree Farm System
The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) is an organization that provides a free “third party certification” for forestland that is managed according to their standards. We can prepare a management plan that qualifies for ATFS certification and we can inspect existing tree farms to maintain certification.
Forest Stewardship Council
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is another certification organization with their own set of standards. While individual certification is often cost prohibitive, there are two FSC Group certificates held by Evergreen Packaging and Columbia Forest Products that are available to landowners in this region.
Forest Stewardship Program
The Forest Stewardship Program (FSP) is a landowner assistance program that provides cost-share money for landowners who wish to manage their forestland for multiple benefits including water quality, wildlife habitat, timber production, recreation, and aesthetics. Each plan must address 15-16 resource elements and comply with a number of other requirements. Recently, funding for this program has been suspended, but check the NC Forest Service website for the latest information.