Rural Forestry Assistance
The 1990 Farm Bill (officially called the 1990 Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act) was the first to include the forestry title (Title XII), called the Forest Stewardship Assistance Act. This Act included several amendments to the 1978 Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act, including authorization of the Forest Stewardship Program.
In Wyoming, 10,288 private landowners held 1,697,900 acres of non-industrial private forested land (NIPF). The Forest Stewardship Program (FSP) brings professional resource management expertise to private landowners to assist landowners in the development of management plans that will meet their overall long-term objectives for their forested property.
The intent of the FSP program in Wyoming is to provide sound resource management advice resulting in management plans that improve the health and productivity of private forested lands while addressing the landowner objectives. For further program information refer to the Rural Forestry Assistance program brochure.
Who is eligible?
Generally, FSP participants own less than 1000 acres of land, however, there is no maximum ownership restriction. Participation is available to individuals and non-commercial landowners who agree to voluntarily maintain their forested land consistent with their Forest Stewardship Plan. FSP is not a cost share program, rather it provides technical and planning guidance, encouraging multi-resource management.
Why is planning important?
Each individual landowner has specific expectations and goals for their property. Professional foresters will work with you to determine your goals and provide recommendations that will help you reach them. The plan will contain information on the past history of your property, current condition and future potential among others. Resources including water, vegetation, wildlife and soils will be addressed.
Long Term Plan
Forest Stewardship planning provides long term direction for the management of your property. Your participation in the program is strictly voluntary. As a landowner, you are asked to make a good faith commitment to implement management strategies that are outlined in your FSP plan.
If you own or manage forest land, you are probably concerned about keeping it productive and healthy, both now and in the years to come. Like many forest landowners, you may want to sustain or increase the economic value of your forest while protecting environmental assets such as wildlife and clean water.
Technical assistance is not limited to long term Forest Stewardship planning. Landowners needing technical advice regarding specific management questions and practices such as insect and disease identification, timber management, wildlife habitat improvement, etc. can receive help without development of a long term management plan.
These activities may or may not require a written document but often result in an abbreviated plan termed a “practice plan”.
Many times, practice plans are the result of issues identified during the long term planning process.
To find out more about the Forest Stewardship Program or to schedule an appointment, contact the Wyoming State Forestry office located closest to you (availability of planning assistance will be based upon current workload).