New National Management Plan Template improves woodland owner access to cost-share and technical services

ATFS is very pleased to announce the availability of the new national management plan template in partnership with the US Forest Service (USFS) and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). The three organizations recognized that having three separate management plan requirements for ATFS certification, NRCS financial assistance funds and Forest Service Stewardship program funds inhibited participation by forest owners in these programs. We worked together to develop a national model management plan template that can be used for any of the three programs. This collaborative decision will help minimize costs and redundant processes. The template includes a guide for both landowners and foresters in using this new tool.

The new management plan template was developed to help landowners be more engaged in the plan writing process. We have heard from many landowners and foresters across the country that some management plans are not used by landowners because they do not understand what is in the plan or they find it intimidating because they had no hand in drafting the plan. In the template guides we developed for foresters and landowners, we encourage landowners to seek out the assistance of a professional. We hope that the template format will help you reach more landowners by cultivating more informed and engaged landowners.

Please visit www.treefarmsystem.org/Nationalplantemplate for a copy.

As the program rolls out the plan will streamline access for folks in the system to apply for cost-share dollars for their conservation work.

Local, state and federal government efforts to rein in spending has meant the disappearance of hundreds of forester positions. Combined with the very limited number of forester TSPs, woodland owners have been left with fewer options to get conservation plans and technical assistance for cost-share dollars. The MOU allows additional training for Tree Farm Inspectors to attain TSP status.