The national and international wood products industry is demanding wood that is certified sustainable to meet the requests of consumers. Certification by an independent third party helps ensure the land is well managed.
Debbie Clay shares her experience of managing her newly acquired woodlands.
Thirty miles down Highway 40, in southern Virginia, the land rolls gently with endless rows of emerald green crops. Billboards proclaim:
“Peanuts – whole sale and retail! Tourists welcome!”
“We’re not nuts, but we sell ‘em”
A good management plan does not focus on one item or one goal, but is a series of steps leading to a goal or to several goals. For example, among other items, we manage for forest health and wildlife habitat. Sometimes forest health may mean that we need to perform a regeneration cut, which may mean reduced cover for little critters. Our goals often remain the same, but the strategies to reach those goals may need to change.
On Wednesday, March 25, the Forest Guild led a workshop for women woodland owners in York County, Maine. The workshop was hosted by the Wells National Estuarine Reserve. Presenters included Amanda Mahaffey, northeast region director for the Forest Guild; Patty Cormier, a district forester for the Maine Forest Service, and Nancy Olmstead, invasive plant biologist for the Maine Natural Areas Program.
Join the 2013 class of women forest landowners for a four-day workshop full of exciting educational programs and field trips related to the care and management of forestland. Women from across the Mid-Atlantic region who own, care for, or are interested in learning more about forestland are encouraged to attend. The workshop takes place from September 26-September 29.
Explore My Land Plan to Protect and Enjoy Your Woods
By Amanda Cooke
Last year, the American Forest Foundation (AFF) launched My Land Plan to provide a one-stop-shop for woodland owners who want to protect and enjoy their woods. If you own woodlands—whether it is 1 acre or 1,000 acres, My Land Plan is a fun and interactive resource that can help you explore what you want to do with your land.
As a forest landowner, you must keep good records in order to take maximum advantage of the special tax treatments available for timber. At a minimum, you should keep a tree farm journal that lists all activities, costs, and incomes from the forest (see example below). You also should have accounts for land, timber, and other capital assets. When setting up timber basis accounts, it is a good idea to use Form T Forest Activities Schedule as a guide. It may be required when claiming depletion of the timber basis after a timber sale or loss.
I hope most of you don’t need to read this but we need to talk about what to do if you had fire on your property in 2015. Normally, taxpayers are only able to recover their investment in timber at the time of a harvest. This is done through the use of depletion. However, if you have a loss on your property, you can also reclaim some of that investment in the form of a casualty loss deduction.
In many of my talks with landowners, the topic of certification comes up. It usually comes up because I bring it up and the landowner responds that they don’t know if they are certified, has never heard of certification or is confused by what being certified actually means to them.