Special Sites

Whether your woods are home to a cemetery or historic site, an unusual rock formation or rare collection of plants, protecting such special sites is one of the requirements for Tree Farm certification. Here are some resources to help you determine whether you have any special sites on your land and information on what you can do to protect them during management activities.

ATFS Standard 7: Protect Special Sites
Special sites are managed in ways that recognize their unique historical, archaeological, cultural, geological, biological or ecological characteristics.
Performance Measure 7.1
Forest management activities shall consider and maintain any special sites relevant on the property.
Indicator 7.1.1
Landowner shall make a reasonable effort to locate and protect special sites appropriate for the size of the forest and the scale and intensity of forest management activities.


A “special site” is a place of special value that may be present on your land.  Special sites are very diverse and can have personal, historical or archaeological, cultural or geological, biological or ecological significance. Learn more here about identifying special sites.


Special sites should be identified through consultation with a natural-resource professional and through on-the-ground reconnaissance on your property. Forest management activities should consider and maintain any special site on your property.  Read here to learn how to protect your special site.



Your state department of natural resources or NRCS office, local historical and archaeological societies, and local tribal governments can help you understand the special sites you have on your property and how to best protect them. Read further for contact information for these organizations in North Carolina.