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Landowner Forest Stewardship Plan Outline

The Division of Lands & Forests in Department of Environmental Conservation cooperates with the USDA Forest Service to implement the federal Forest Stewardship Program. The Forest Stewardship Program is authorized by the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978. A cornerstone of the program is the availability of technical assistance to help private forest owners develop Forest Stewardship Management Plans to guide them in the use and management of their lands. These plans are based upon goals and objectives that individual owners have for their properties.

The Department, with the advice of the State Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee, has adopted the following format for development of Stewardship plans in New York. This format follows federal program requirements. Each plan prepared to these standards can be recognized as a "Forest Stewardship Plan" upon approval by the State Forester through the Department's Regional Forestry Offices. Additional information about the Forest Stewardship Program and management plans is available by contacting the local DEC Forestry Office.

Stewardship plans should include the following elements.

1. Landowner information: name, mailing address and telephone number. Plan preparer information: name, mailing address and telephone number. Plan preparation date. Number of Forest Stewardship acres owned and covered in plan.

2. Landowner goals statement, list of landowner management goals. Landowner affirmation of goals and management intention. (As owner, I/we agree that this management plan reflects my/our goals and intentions for the management of this property)

3. General property description: overview giving general location, major forest types, general landscapes and current land use. Identify any known:
Rare or endangered species
Classified streams
Protected wetlands
Natural features
Natural Heritage Program data is a useful reference.

4. Soils information: information can be generalized over property when soils are uniform. Describe how soils may affect attainment of landowner objectives. Soils maps and descriptions from published county soil surveys, if available, are useful.

5. Narrative description and discussion of interrelationship of resources, specific to property in context to landowner management goals:
Wildlife and fisheries habitat
Forest health
Recreation and aesthetics
Soil and water

6. Narrative description of each stand or management unit including the following:
Forest or cover type
Stand history - past land use
Stand management objective that supports ownership goal
Recommended management activities including use of Best Management Practices
Stand descriptors (may be in chart form): acres, species composition, size class, relative stocking density (under, well or over stocked), site quality (poor, good, excellent), timber quality (poor, good, excellent)

7. Location map on USGS map, county highway map or aerial photo adequately labeled.

8. Forest type map labeled with:
Property boundaries
Stand boundaries
Stand identification
Water bodies, roads, structures, other physical features
Scale, north arrow

9. Ten year schedule summarizing recommended management activities and priority. A chart summarizing recommendations by stand is suggested.

Optional Plan Elements

Elements that, if resources permit and in the opinion of the professional preparing plan are appropriate to address landowner goals, should be included.

1. Stand characteristics: based on a reliable field inventory ( one that can be replicated with similar results) that includes:
Stand age - determined by measurement or growth model
Stocking - trees and BA per acre
Volume - board feet, cords, cubic feet and / or tons per acre
Growth rate - annual unit of growth based on increment boring or growth model

2. Discussion of interaction with other surrounding properties. Narrative description of how use, management and condition of surrounding parcels impact management of landowner's property. Narrative on any significant cultural resources present and identification of regional/subsection hierarchy. Archeological Site Inventory Maps and USFS National Ecoregional map by R. Bailey or Ecological Units of the Eastern US by Keys, McNab & Carpenter are useful references.

3. Description of long range silvicultural objectives for each stand or management unit, related to landowner goals.

4. Management Unit Analysis Table that summarizes stands or management units by:
Site class
Cover or timber type
Management objective
Recommended management activity

5. TIME narrative that summarizes landowners Time, Interest, Money and Energy to implement management plan.

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