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Forest Resource Management


Are you a Vermont forest landowner looking for voluntary, long-range conservation planning assistance tailored to your goals and the capacity of your land?

One of best sources of such assistance in Vermont is the Forest Stewardship Program.

How do I Get Started?
Our County Foresters can provide you with advice on managing your forest including resource values such as trees, wildlife, soils, water, and recreation.

To get you started the County Foresters will meet with you, walk your property, listen to your goals for the property and recommend options. They will explain what a Forest Stewardship plan is and how it can assist you in meeting your goals while assessing the health, capability, and care of the forest. In Vermont the plans must be prepared by private consulting foresters or other natural resource professionals.

Participation is voluntary and you will not lose any of your property rights by getting involved. The costs for a Stewardship Plan will vary with the provider. This expense may sometimes be cost-shared through programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentive Program or make the land eligible for the Use Value Appraisal Program that may produce significant tax savings.

Who is Eligible to Participate?
Private landowners interested in keeping their forest land as healthy and productive as possible – both for their own enjoyment – as well as future owners. The forestland can include any non-industrial private forest lands owned by a private individual, group association, corporation, Indian tribe or other private, legal entity.

What is in a Stewardship Plan?
A Stewardship Plan provides an assessment of your forest resource assets and sets some clear objectives for managing the land. The plan describes activities that will be designed to maintain your forest compatible with your objectives. The assessment portion of the plan will identify and quantify the soils and their resource capability, wildlife and wildlife habitat, archeological, cultural and historic sites, wetlands, the forest cover and timber potential, and recreational opportunities. With these conditions and opportunities in mind the plan will set forth activities to meet you, the landowner's objectives compatible with the site capabilities.

For more specific information on Stewardship and Stewardship Plans, check the links below:

Stewardship Handbook
Stewardship Standards and Guidelines

Other Programs for Forest Landowners…

Use Value Appraisal Program
The VT Use Value Appraisal (Current Use) law allows the valuation and taxation of farm and forest land based on its remaining in agricultural or forest use instead of its value in the market place.

Environmental Quality Incentive Program
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offers cost share programs for forest landowners through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQUIP) and through the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP).

Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP)
The Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) is a voluntary program for people who want to develop and improve wildlife habitat primarily on private land. Through WHIP USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service provides both technical assistance and up to 75 percent cost-share assistance to establish and improve fish and wildlife habitat.


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