Forest Management and Sustainability


Managing your forest or woodlot in a sustainable manner may require considerable investments in time and money. How do you cover those costs now, when income from a timber harvest may be many years away? There are a variety of cost-share opportunities, tax abatement programs, and other financial incentives that can help you meet your management goals. Information about these programs is provided here. In addition to short-term planning needs, it is important to think about the future of your woods. Who will take care of the land when you are gone? Do you have a plan in place to ensure that your forest stays a working forest? Making sure you have a long-term plan in place is essential. You can learn more about forest legacy planning here as well.

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Forest Legacy Program

The Forest Legacy Program is a federal program in partnership with the states that supports efforts to protect environmentally sensitive forest lands through funds for conservation easements. To find out more about the program in Pennsylvania click here. To see if your lands qualify, check out the guide book. Here is the federal non-discrimination statement.

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Forest Stewardship Program

The Forest Stewardship Program is a voluntary program of the U.S. Forest Service to help forestland owners learn how to improve and maintain the ecological health of their land. To learn how you can enroll in the program, click here.

 

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Clean and Green Program

The Clean and Green program is a preferential tax assessment program that bases property taxes on use values rather than fair market values. This ordinarily results in a tax savings for landowners. Forest landowners can enroll in the Forest Reserve category of the program. To learn more about the program, click here.

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Conservation Easements

Conservation easements are voluntary legal agreements between a landowner and a land trust in which the land owner places restrictions on the use of the property, in order to protect the natural values of the land. To learn more about how you can go about placing an easement on your forest land, click here.

 

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Forestland Estate Planning

Fewer than half of the state's forest landowners have a plan in place to protect their land after they're gone. Without a plan the land may be subdivided and developed for other uses. How do you begin the planning process? The resources provided here are a start.

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Natural Resources Conservation Service

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offers a variety of financial assistance and cost-share programs to forest landowners and agricultural producers. To learn about the programs available to landowners in Pennsylvania, click here. To find a list of technical service providers who can assist you with the NRCS funding programs, click here.

 

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Forestry Terms and Definitions

Navigating the world of forest and woodlot management can be complicated, with various technical terms. A list of many common terms and their definitions is included here.