Start with a Plan
Tailoring for Your Needs
The first step in managing your forest effectively is to define your goals or vision for your property. Goals are general statements and should correspond with what you feel is necessary to communicate your vision for your property. Whatever your goals, they are based on your personal values and needs.
A registered professional forester understands your goals and your property and can help tailor a plan to meet your vision.
"Long term visions for forestry are needed because of the time frames involved...thirty years from a seedling to a merchantable tree. That's not a one shot deal, it's an ongoing process."
Erik Jensen, Registered Professional Forester
Introduction to Forest Management
University of California Cooperative Extension Specialist Rick Standiford provides an introduction to Forest Management and explains why forest stewardship starts with a plan.
"It's very precious, (this property) has many attributes that are absolutely lovely, and I am very grateful to be part of the process in achieving the improvement to the property."
Margaret Perry, Landowner, Mendocino County
Why create a stewardship plan?
Your stewardship plan is the blueprint that guides the management of your property. Analogous to a business plan for your forest, it helps you define where you are, where you want to go, and how best to get there. You can use your stewardship plan as the basis for applying for funding and preparing timber harvest plans. Although each of these requires its own set of information presented in a particular way, much of the information will be available at your fingertips from your stewardship plan. A stewardship plan can also be of assistance to any professionals you consult to help with bank loans, timber management planning, and the like.
What if my goals change?
Nothing in a stewardship plan is set in stone; this is simply your own personal guide to your goals. As conditions change—in your life, in your goals, on your property, in the economy—you may want to adjust the plan accordingly. It is a good idea to revisit the stewardship plan on a regular basis, perhaps once a year, to keep the plan current and your management activities on track.
what type of plan should i use?
There are a lot of 'plans'. Sometimes the terms are used interchangeably. The California Cooperative Forest Management Plan (CCFMP) is required if you are considering applying for cost-share funds. However, a plan can be as simple or as complex as you need, depending on your goals and objectives. If it is just for you, it doesn’t need to be signed by an Registered Professional Forester (RPF). If it is for cost-share programs, it needs to be signed by an RPF. Timber Harvest Plans (THPs) and Non-Industrial Timber Management Plans (NTMPs) are permits that include CEQA documents and must be signed by a professional. A THP and a NTMP are more detailed plans that permits harvest under prescribed rules.