It’s another perfect day in Paradise; a sunny day with mild temperatures that allow me to work outside in shorts and a T-shirt. The only problem with this is that it’s January, and we’ve been experiencing weather akin to mid October when we should be collecting our allotment of rain for the year. As I […]
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
Wildlife and Fish Habitat
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.