Do you own some forest land? Wondering where to begin managing it? Your forest property will serve your needs and interests best if it is managed according to a clear plan. Your plan is a “road map” to guide you from where you are to where you want to be. A management plan begins with your goals. What do you want from your land? Get this down on paper. A resource assessment will tell you what you have to work with. From there you and your forester, biologist or consultant can develop a series of activities that will take place in order to meet your goals. Without a plan, decisions may be made based on short-term conditions but with long-term, undesirable consequences.
A management plan does not have to be a complicated document and there is no standard format for writing one. It may be a simple description for a pine plantation, or a detailed multiple resource plan. A management plan is a part of certification in the Tree Farm and Forest Stewardship Programs. It can even help with county property tax assessment. No matter what the purpose or program, it is important that your plan include the following information:
- Your objectives
- Property location and history
- Resource assessment
- Management recommendations
- Activity schedule
- Supplemental information