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
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 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.