Deep Roots Getting Stronger
Take a drive through the Wisconsin countryside, and chances are you’ll come across a forested property displaying the familiar diamond-shaped green and white Tree Farm sign. If you own forestland, you may wonder why and how one goes about becoming a certified Tree Farmer. Or perhaps you have been a Tree Farmer for years.
What does it mean when a private forest landowner proudly displays the Tree Farm sign? It means their property has been certified by a professional forester as being sustainable managed for the future. Landowners who enroll their forestland in the American Tree Farm System are following a management plan that meets certain standards and guidelines which demonstrate a commitment to stewardship of the land.
ATFS supports Tree Farmers with the direct involvement of some 5,200 volunteer inspecting foresters across the country that make themselves available as certifiers. These specially trained professional foresters work individually with landowners to determine if the American Forest Foundation’s Standards and Guidelines are met.
For example – private forest owners, who are members of the American Tree Farm System follow best management practices when they harvest timber, take measures to provide wildlife habitat, and protect biodiversity. But mostly, Tree Farmers manage the forest for the benefits that they desire from the land.
Certified Tree Farmers in Wisconsin gain access to a special set of learning opportunities. These include seminars at the annual tree farm field day, participating in the Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year competition, and the opportunity to attend the Annual National Tree Farmer Convention.
And that’s what Tree Farm is all about. We are growing stronger to serve and represent the members of our system, all the while pushing for more acres of good forestry on the ground. So the next time you drive past one of those green and white diamonds, think about what’s behind "the sign of good forestry."