Getting Started

What do you want to do with your land? Improve habitat to attract bobwhite quail? Generate income for retirement? Develop a trail system for recreational use? Your vision for your forest will determine how you manage your land. And it will guide you as you set management priorities, decide how to invest your time and money, and communicate with the natural resource professionals who work with you. Whatever you envision for your forest, the best way to achieve your goals is to have a written forest management plan.

WHY YOU NEED A FOREST MANAGEMENT PLAN

Developing and maintaining a written forest management plan doesn’t have to be difficult, and it can save time and money while increasing returns and enjoyment. It is the road map that documents your goals and guides the management decisions that help achieve those goals while keeping your woodlands healthy and productive.  A management plan is also required for certification and to participate in tax and cost-share programs. 

SETTING GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

Goals and objectives are the most important part of a forest management plan. Goals are a landowner’s “big picture” vision for the property – desired outcomes or future conditions.  Objectives are specific steps necessary to achieve a goal. Forest landowners should seek  the  advice  and  recommendations  of professionals to help develop a plan to accomplish goals and objectives.

MAINTAINING RECORDS

WHO CAN HELP

A survey of Southern forest landowners found that “most family forest owners have a deep love for their land and a strong desire to do what is right, but they need help in knowing what their options are and what is best for them and their woods.” (Butler 2013) Here is information on professional forestry assistance available to North Carolina’s woodland owners.

BECOMING A CERTIFIED TREE FARMER