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AN IMPORTANT FOREST STEWARDSHIP TOOL
A management plan is one of the most important tools you can use to improve your forest’s long-term health. When you develop a plan for your forest, you establish your goals for the property, identify and describe current resources, and develop a timeline and set of strategies for achieving your goals. A forest management plan can also enable you to achieve property tax benefits, pursue forest certification, and qualify for cost-share programs to fund restoration or habitat improvements.
Some forest owners prefer to write their management plans themselves; others choose to hire a professional. First, though, what does a management plan look like?
Here are some examples of other forest owners’ visions for their land, as they translated into management plans:
Management plans are so important for the health of the forest — and for the resources that forests protect, such as clean water, productive soil, and wildlife habitat — that public agencies have created several programs that help landowners devise management plans. University extension programs from WSU and OSU will coach you through writing a management plan yourself. The USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) offers a cost-sharing program in many parts of the Northwest to help defray the cost of commissioning a plan. They’ve also created an outline for what needs to be covered in a plan. What’s in it for them, or the public interest? These agencies know that forests are healthier when they’re managed intentionally than if they are neglected.
Not everyone has the time or inclination to write their own management plan. If you would like to hire a professional, NNRG can help. Or, if you want to go the DIY route, here are some resources that you might find useful.
Additional resources on management planning and other topics are available in the NNRG Resource Library.