A forest management plan is a highly personalized and detailed blueprint created by a forest professional of how you can achieve your goals for your land. As a landowner, it can be an invaluable tool with specific information on your land’s unique makeup, challenges, and how to improve or maintain your land. A forest management plan is yours to keep, and there are no requirements of what you do after you receive your plan. Instead, think of it as an encyclopedia for your land to use as you wish.
The plan isn’t just about your trees, either: it contains information on all of the vegetation and wildlife habitat, water sources, roadways, and paths — you name it.
After you’ve developed your forest management plan, the next step is to implement it.
Three Ways to Use a Forest Management Plan
1.Complete the recommended activities outlined in your plan
Your unique timetable of prescribed activities—which may include tree planting, invasive plant removal, and other tasks—is designed specifically to achieve your goals and objectives.
2. Add updated information to your plan
As you complete management practices, note them in your plan. You can include receipts, copies of permits, and other documentation of your forest management activities, along with photos or notes on the process.
3. Review your goals over time
As time passes, your goals and objectives may change. That’s why it’s important to regularly review and update your plan. Reviewing your plan can be as simple as taking time each year to walk through your woods, look around, and answer these basic questions:
- Are my trees healthy?
- Is my forest progressing as I hoped?
- Have freezes, floods or other natural disasters affected my property?
- Has my family experienced a major change, such as an illness or financial loss, that may increase our need for income from our woods?
- Are there management activities—such as planting trees or removing invasive plants—that I’ve done or would like to do?
By keeping an up-to-date plan that reflects your needs and goals, you’ll be ready to seize new opportunities and reap the greatest possible rewards from managing your woods.