Dead River Campers Inc. in Marquette County developed a Forest Stewardship Plan in 2014 to manage their forest land for water quality. Their forest is certified by the American Tree Farm System and is open to the public for hunting and fishing through the Commercial Forest Program. Photo credit: Green Timber Consulting Foresters.
What is a Forest Stewardship Plan?
A Forest Stewardship Plan is a custom plan that describes your personal goals, unique forest resources, and suggested management activities. The DNR trains and certifies 150 professional foresters and 20 wildlife biologists in the private sector to write simple yet comprehensive Forest Stewardship Plans. You can use your Forest Stewardship Plan to prepare for a timber sale, improve wildlife habitat, or to enroll in other forestry programs that require a forest management plan. Here is a Sample Forest Stewardship Plan.
What are the steps to develop a Forest Stewardship Plan
The process for developing a Forest Stewardship Plan is simple, but it may take a few months. The primary task for a landowner is to find and hire a certified Forest Stewardship Plan Writer. Here are the steps to develop your own Forest Stewardship Plan.
Is Financial Assistance Available?
The Forest Stewardship Program provides cost share to lower your cost to develop a Forest Stewardship Plan. A partial cost share of $225 per plan plus $0.50 per acre up to $2,500 per landowner is available throughout the year for parcels ≥20 acres. The cost share is paid through grants to the certified Plan Writers to minimize the application and payment process for landowners. Total fees will vary between Plan Writers.
- Schools that own forest land may be eligible for an Outreach and Education grant to develop a Forest Stewardship Plan for their school forest.
- Project Learning Tree provides resources and curriculum to help teachers plan lessons to take their students outside into the forest for outdoor education.
- The Michigan Tree Farm Committee administers Wheels to Woods which may provide a grant to cover the transportation costs for a school to go on an educational field trip to a nearby forest.
- The Michigan Arbor Day Alliance helps schools plant trees to celebrate Arbor Day.
- The DNR’s Academy of Natural Resources provides a week of outdoor education and professional development for teachers.
Public - Private Partnerships
The Michigan Forest Stewardship Program relies upon the private sector to deliver professional planning and ethical advice to landowners. The DNR trains and certifies professional foresters and wildlife biologists to write Forest Stewardship Plans that meet USFS guidelines. DNR Service Foresters review all Forest Stewardship Plans to ensure quality and consistency throughout the Program.
Benefits for Plan Writers
The primary benefit of becoming a certified Plan Writer is the opportunity to advertise your services to the 400,000 family forest owners in Michigan. The Program seeks to actively promote all Plan Writer’s qualifications, services offered, and participation in related programs. You are able to determine your fees for developing a Plan. The Program is committed to maintaining flexibility and simplicity by making it easy for both Landowners and Plan Writers to develop a Forest Stewardship Plan. For information about becoming a certified Plan Writer, please contact Mike Smalligan at 517-284-5884 or firstname.lastname@example.org.