Forest Planning and Stewardship

Planning for Success – Forest Management Planning

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin. A slight revision to this famous quote would be, “By failing to plan, you are planning to fail,” and for practicing good forest resources management this can be especially true. Good forest resource management is a long-term endeavor because trees take many years to grow to maturity, oftentimes longer than most human lifetimes. Following a good management plan can help landowners assure success and avoid making management mistakes that can negatively affect their forestland for years.

Forest landowners should seek out help from forestry professionals who are educated and trained to know how trees and forests grow, and what effect each forest management practice will have on the forest. With this education, applied to the forest landowner’s management goals and objectives, a professional forester can develop a management plan that can help the landowner meet their individual goals and objectives while avoiding many pitfalls.

A forest management plan can come in many sizes, but the best plan will consider the landowner’s entire property and provide recommendations for each different forested area. This is often called a “Tract Plan,” this plan describes the current site conditions for all areas within the property ownership and recommendations for how to manage the different parcels or stands to meet the landowner’s objectives. Examples of Tract Plans are Forest Stewardship Plans, Forestry Conservation Activity Plans (CAP106), Tree Farm Plans, and Land Use Plans.

Another type of plan is called a “Stand or Practice Plan.” These are usually smaller plans that address only one parcel or stand within a larger property. These plans usually address and recommend practices for only one specific objective, like reforesting a stand that was recently harvested. Examples of stand plans are Pre-harvest Plans, Reforestation Plans, and Cost-Share Plans.

When landowners LEARN about forests and forest practices, make a PLAN to meet their forest management goals and objectives, then ACT on their management plan recommendations, they will know what to expect, how the forest should react to the management practices, and have a vision of what forest management success will be for them.

Understand your options when choosing a forest management plan.


Get started planning for your forestland.

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Additional Resources

ImageTitleIDDescriptionContent Typedocument-category_hfilterMedia_hfilter
Alternate Management Plan
Alternate Management Plan7.06Viewforest-managementform
Alternate Management Plan Supplement For… (Transfer)
Alternate Management Plan Supplement For… (Transfer)7.07Viewforest-managementform
Century Forest Application
Century Forest Application10.03

Application to apply for the recognition in the Century Forest Program.

Viewforestland-conservationform
Forest Legacy Program Application - Conservation Easement
Forest Legacy Program Application – Conservation Easement10.04Viewforestland-conservationform
Forest Legacy Program Application - Fee Simple Purchase
Forest Legacy Program Application – Fee Simple Purchase10.05Viewforestland-conservationform
Forest Legacy Program Application - Property Data Sheet
Forest Legacy Program Application – Property Data Sheet10.06Viewforestland-conservationform
Forest Management Services Agreement
Forest Management Services Agreement7.01Viewforest-managementform
Forest Stewardship Program Application
Forest Stewardship Program Application7.10Viewforest-managementform
Forests and Water - Get the Most Out of Your Land
Forests and Water – Get the Most Out of Your LandP00211

Publication is directed to landowners to educate about forest buffers, stream water quality, watersheds, riparian buffer tax credit program and other programs that can assist. Printed copies available.

Viewwater-qualitypublication
Landowner Options for Forestland Conservation
Landowner Options for Forestland ConservationP00146

Brochure provides information regarding options available to landowners for conserving their forestland, including use-value taxation, ag and forestal districts, riparian Buffer tax credit, cost-share assistance, conservation easements, purchase of development rights, grants for fee-simple acquisition and easements, and donations of property. Printed copies available.

Viewforestland-conservationpublication
National Timber Tax Website
National Timber Tax Website

The National Timber Tax Website was developed to be used by timberland owners, as well as a reference for accountants, attorneys, consulting foresters and other professionals who work with timberland owners regarding the tax treatment of timber related activities.

Viewfinancial-assistance-forest-management forest-managementresource
NRCS Conservation Activity Plan (CAP 106) Landowner Information
NRCS Conservation Activity Plan (CAP 106) Landowner Information7.09Viewforest-managementform
Open-Space Easement Donation Application
Open-Space Easement Donation Application10.01Viewforestland-conservationform
Open-Space Easement Landowner Checklist
Open-Space Easement Landowner Checklist10.02Viewforestland-conservationform
Plan Your Forest's Future
Plan Your Forest’s FutureP00205

Brochure provides information regarding the responsibility of owning forestland and the importance of planning your forest’s future, conserving your forestland, forest planning options, types of plans, elements of a plan, and benefits of a plan. Printed copies available.

Viewforest-managementpublication
Services for Landowners
Services for LandownersP00112

Brochure provides information about the services available to landowners from the Virginia Department of Forestry, including forest management and Forest Health, timber harvesting and water quality, land conservation, tree seedling production, and resource protection. Printed copies available.

Viewfire-and-emergency-response forest-health forest-management forestland-conservation nurseries urban-and-community-forestry water-qualitypublication
Tables For Measuring Timber
Tables For Measuring TimberP00058

Pocket card provides tables to assist in measuring and calculating timber volumes.

Viewforest-managementpublication
Virginia Forest Stewardship Management Plan Template
Virginia Forest Stewardship Management Plan Template

Standard template to be used as a base document with individual information modified as needed and general format and structure to remain consistent.

Viewforest-managementtemplate
Virginia Forest Stewardship Plan - Appendix
Virginia Forest Stewardship Plan – AppendixP00212

Appendix provides an excellent supplement to an individual landowner’s Forest Stewardship Plan. Subjects include land ownership, forest management, forest products marketing, water quality, forest health, fire, forests and wildlife, forest recreation, forest conservation, natural heritage and historic resources, taxes and financial assistance, forest stewardship program and certification, glossary, and contacts. Printed copies available with VDOF Stewardship Plan development services only.

Viewforest-managementpublication
Virginia Forest Stewardship Plan - Appendix - Introduction Cover Letter
Virginia Forest Stewardship Plan – Appendix – Introduction Cover LetterP00212

Appendix provides an excellent supplement to an individual landowner’s Forest Stewardship Plan. Subjects include land ownership, forest management, forest products marketing, water quality, forest health, fire, forests and wildlife, forest recreation, forest conservation, natural heritage and historic resources, taxes and financial assistance, forest stewardship program and certification, glossary, and contacts. Printed copies available with VDOF Stewardship Plan development services only.

Viewforest-managementpublication

Contact Us

VDOF foresters can assist you with your forestland, contact your local VDOF forester.

For more information or questions, e-mail us or use our contact form.