Management Planning

There are several reasons to consider drawing up a formal management plan for your forest.

First, it helps you identify the your land’s specific features, including resources for your use and areas that need improvement and monitoring.

Second, it puts down on paper your goals and strategies so that your contractors and, eventually, your successors, have a framework from which work when they take on management projects.

Third, a management plan is required if you want to tap into government grant plans for improving your forest, such as Natural Resource Conservation Service plans, which include: Health Forest Reserve Program (HFRP), Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) among others. California has its own array of forestry assistance plans administrated under the umbrella of the California Forest Stewardship Program, including: California Forest Improvement Program (CFIP) and State Fire Assistance (SFA and SFAX).

Forest Management Plans that are to be used as a basis for qualifying for government assistance plans need to be written or reviewed and approved by a licensed forester. They are primarily advisory, as the regulatory teeth lie in Timber harvest Plans or Forest Improvement Plans. A typical forest management plan contains the following information about your land:

Goals and Objectives
General Property Description
History of Forest Management and Use
Definitions and Symbols
Soils and Site Index
Timber Type Descriptions
Allowable Harvest and Stocking Adjustment
Local Timber Market
Forest Improvement
Wildlife and Fish Habitat
Erosion Control
Summary of General Recommendations

A Non-Industrial Timber Management Plan is a hybrid document that melds a Forest Management Plan with a Timber Harvest Plan. This document provides a permanent Timber Harvest Plan which can be executed under the existing Forest Practice Rules of the year in which it was approved, in exchange for certain limitations in harvest practices, such as requiring sustainable, uneven-aged management and harvest cycles no more frequent than once every ten years. Since these are normal constraints within the Central Coast, the NTMP is a relatively easy fit for local forest properties. These plans can be applied to management parcels of less than 2500 acres.

On this page, we will discuss the decisions that lead to a good management plan.

An alternate method for NTMP inventory and harvest

September 8, 2013

If you are at all interested in alternative forest management strategies, you might find Dale Holderman’s strategy in his NTMP interesting. Dale has come up with a method that allows him to cut just his growth without having to extensively inventory his trees each time he harvests to prove he is within his plan.  It […]

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Webinar Report: Advances in Multi-Aged Silviculture by Dr. Kevin O’Hara

June 3, 2013

We all believe we know what is meant by multi-aged silviculture.  It summons images of a forest where there are trees of many sizes, ages and species all growing together in a harmonious, integrated self-sustaining environment.  The image is clear, but the underlying mechanisms and constraints are not. The first portion of the talk was […]

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Webinar Report: Emerging Technology – LiDAR in Forestry

April 15, 2013

The University of California Cooperative Extension sponsored Dr. Maggi Kelley in a fascinating talk on the uses of LiDAR in forestry. LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) is an emerging technology that hold the promise of completely revolutionizing the way forests are measured.  The use of LiDAR can greatly facilitate gathering the data for timber cruises […]

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Survival Strategies, a study in contrasts between two salmonid species and their implications in land management

March 23, 2013

Cate Moore All salmonids are not created equal; this is becoming more apparent as studies continue into the life cycles of coho salmon and steelhead trout in the Scott Creek watershed.  The participants in the northern field trip of the Redwood Symposium got a fascinating update of the latest observations of the life cycles and […]

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Webinar on Active Management of Riparian Forest Zones coming in May

March 20, 2013

There is a webinar series coming in May addressing active management of riparian zones in forests. Riparian ecosystems are becoming a huge issue in the central coast area as the coho restoration program gathers steam.  This series of lectures will explore the ecology of riparian zones, current tools for planning and executing riparian management, then […]

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