Why You Need a Forest Management Plan

The forest management decisions you make today have a long-term impact on the health and productivity of your woodlands. So it’s important to know what you want to accomplish with your land and to develop a strategy for achieving those goals. A written forest management plan helps you organize your thoughts about your priorities and provides guidance on the steps you will take over the years to move toward those goals.


ATFS Standard 1: Commitment to Practicing Sustainable Forestry
Landowner demonstrates commitment to forest health and sustainability by developing a forest management plan and implementing sustainable practices.

Why Do I Need a Management Plan? (American Forest Foundation)
Having a management plan can bring you greater personal and financial benefits from your woods. A plan makes it possible for you to fare better at tax time,  and can help you qualify for cost-share, financial assistance and technical assistance programs.

Benefits of a Woodland Plan (North Carolina Forest Service)
Your woodland property could be working harder for you and your family, providing more of the benefits you value most. It all starts with a plan!

I’ve Got a Plan – Now What? (American Forest Foundation)
After you’ve developed your forest management plan, the next step is to implement it. You’ll do that through the recommended activities outlined in your plan.

About Forest Management Planning (Oregon Forest Management Planning)
The most important reason to develop a management plan is so you can learn about your forest and develop or refine a course of action, given how it looks today and how you want it to look in the future.

Management by Objectives: Successful Forest Planning (N.C. State Extension)
You’ll be more successful with your forest property if you manage it according to a clear plan. Whether you grow trees, tulips or turkeys, a management plan helps save time and money while increasing returns and enjoyment.

Forest Resource Management Planning: Why Plan? The Planning Process (Clemson Cooperative Extension)
Forests are by nature long-term enterprises and the forest owner’s expected future outcomes, like the forest condition many years from today, require actions today and over time to ensure these outcomes actually occur.

American Forest Foundation’s My Land Plan (American Forest Foundation)
My Land Plan can help you explore and discover how to manage your woodlands. Easy to use tools guide you to map your land, set goals, keep a journal and connect with woodland owners and foresters.

Management Planning for Small Woodlots (N.C. State University Extension Forestry)
North Carolina has more than 2 million acres of woodlands in holdings less than 20 acres in size. These woodlands provide environmental, economical and social benefits to their owners and to the communities in which they are found.

What’s In A Plan? (Oregon Forest Management Planning)
A forest management plan describes your property, what you want to do with it, and how and when to carry out your plans for it.

What Is In A Natural Resource Management Plan? (University of Florida Extension)
No matter what the purpose or program, it is important that your plan include certain information.

Understanding the Financial Aspects of Woodland Management (Woodland Stewards Series webinar)
This session provides an overview of financial factors that affect your woodland management such as when to re-plant, when to thin, when to harvest, when to use cost-share programs and more.