What is a forest management plan?

Many times a wood lot owner has had a forested property for some time or just acquired a property and they just aren’t sure what is the best thing to do with it. Sometimes they are attached to an aesthetic quality that they wish to enhance and/or maintain. Other times they would like to be able to generate some amount of income over a period of time. And many times it is a combination of the two.

A forest management plan is a detailed document that takes into consideration all the pertinent details of a forest ownership, as well as landowner goals and objectives, and spells out a plan on how those objectives are to be best met. Considerations include forest stand types, soil type, slope, topography, brooks, ponds, wetlands and other water ways, wildlife habitat, forest structure and health, recreational opportunities and property descriptions to name a few.

In order to bring all of these varied pieces of information together into a document that can be understood and acted upon, these plans are created by an integrated combination of forestry and other resource professionals that have the required amount of education, experience, and credentials to help meet the landowner’s objectives over a specific period of time; usually 5 to 20 years. These forest management plans are normally updated as conditions change and they help to crystallize the forest management objectives of forest land owners as well as help communicate forest management goals and ideas to other professionals.

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