Forest Management Plans

The landowner must have a forest management plan written by a Registered Forester or a natural resources professional who has been approved by the DNR.

Plan Requirements

  • The purpose of a forest management plan is to prescribe measures to optimize production, utilization, and regeneration of forest resources.
  • A plan includes a description of how the listed land will be managed and treatment schedules such as timber harvesting and reforestation.
  • The Management Plan must meet the requirements that are published by the DNR

Requirements for Forest Management Plans for Lands Listed Under the CF Program (IC4168)

Finding a Plan Writer

Registered Foresters:

  • A list of Foresters who are registered with the State of Michigan can be found at this website:
    • Select “Search By License Type or Location”
    • For “Profession”, Select “Foresters”
    • Select additional search criteria as desired
    • Click “Search”

Natural Resources Professional, approved by the DNR:

  • To qualify under this provision, the person wishing to write a management plan should submit their credentials and resume to the DNR.


Financial Assistance Programs:

There are two federally-funded financial assistance programs to assist landowners with the cost of having a management plan written:  Forest Stewardship Program and NRCS program

Forest Stewardship Program

  • Funded by US Forest Service and Administered by DNR
  • The purpose of the Forest Stewardship Program is to encourage nonindustrial private forest landowners to actively manage their forest to accomplish their own personal goals for their land.
  • Plan writers are certified to write Forest Stewardship Plans that meet USFS guidelines for a comprehensive forest management plan.
  • FSP Certified Plan Writers are qualified to write CF management plans
  • See the FSP website for more details about the program and to find a Certified plan writer:

FSP Website

Natural Resources Conservation Services Program (NRCS)

  • Funded by US Dept of Agriculture and Administered by the NRCS
  • NRCS Website

Amendments to a Plan

  • Management Plans may need to be amended due to issues such as forest health and storm damage.
  • Plan Amendments must be written by a Registered Forester or a natural resources professional who has been approved by the MDNR.
  • Land owner should submit a written copy of any Plan Amendments to the DNR 30 days  prior to the implementation to the amendment or revision.

Plan Expiration

  • CF Management Plans must be written to cover at least ten (10) years, but not more than twenty (20) years
  • When a Management Plan expires, the landowner must submit a new management Plan and Management Plan Certification to the DNR, if they wish to remain in the CF program
  • If a new plan is not submitted, the landowner will be in violation and must withdraw the land from the program.

Forest Management Plan Certification (PR4113)

  • Landowners must certify to the DNR that a forest management plan exists and is effect on all CF land.
  • Plan Certifications must include notarized signature(s) of all landowners.

Forest Management Plan Certification Form (PR4113)