USDA offers forest management assistance

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

Under a pilot program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has financial assistance available for private landowners to have an individualized forest management plan developed.

Financial assistance will come from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Owners of private forest land can apply to NRCS for financial assistance to have a professional forester develop a forest management plan. The plan will help the landowner better manage the forest land for timber production, wildlife habitat, recreation or other uses.

Some basic components of a Forest Management Plan include: a description of the land included in the plan, common trees species and size, soil types and conditions, wood products potential, noxious and invasive species present, known fish and wildlife species present, existing conservation practices and recommended conservation practices to address resource concerns and meet the landowners objectives. Landowners are not required to take any action or incur further expenses as a result of having a forest management plan prepared. However, they will be eligible to apply to NRCS for additional financial assistance to implement conservation measures and practices recommended in the plan.Landowners selected to participate in the program will receive a fixed payment based on the number of acres included in the plan. Participants will receive the payment after the forest management plan is developed and submitted to NRCS for review. The forest management plan must be developed by a professional forester who is approved through the USDA to provide these services.

For more information, contact your local NRCS office or Conservation District. Contact information for NRCS offices in Michigan can be found at www.mi.nrcs.usda.gov/contact/.

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