Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee
Tuesday, 18 June 2013 00:51

Inspector's Notes #3: Management Plan Requirement

 

Standard 1: Commitment to Practicing Sustainable Forestry (For an inspection—this is the first main item of concern to look for.)

Forest owner demonstrates commitment to forest vitality by developing and implementing a sustainable forest management plan.

Performance Measure 1.1

Forest owner must have and implement a written forest management plan consistent with the size of the forest and the scale and intensity of the forest activities.

Indicator 1.1.1

Management plan must be active, adaptive, and embody the landowner’s current objectives, remain appropriate for the land certified, and reflect the current state of knowledge about forestry and natural resource management. While the plan is not expected to address all possible facets of state-of-the-art for-estry or habitat management, the plan is expected to avoid commonly accepted poor forestry or wildlife management practices.

Guidance: Landowner objectives for managing the property must be stated in the plan document. The management plan may be comprised of several separate documents that, together, comprise the plan.

Guidance: The management plan must conform to the intent of the landowner’s objectives. For example: if the landowner’s objective is to increase the occurrence of wild turkey on the property, the management plan is expected to prescribe management activities that will enhance, or at least maintain, suitable wild turkey habitat. Landowner objectives are concise, high-level, statements of what the landowner hopes to accomplish through their management The detail for achieving the objectives will be reflected in the body of the plan.

Plan detail should reflect the forest and habitat complexity of the property as well as the management intensity planned for the property. The Standard does not require a prescribed management plan information structure or hierarchy. The plan preparer has considerable latitude in developing the plan at a level of complexity that meets the landowner’s objectives and provides for an accurate method of prescribing any planned treatments or activities to the forest property or its component parts.

The nature of adaptive management requires that the landowner not be bound to follow the management plan prescriptions when circumstances influencing the property and its management have changed or when the landowner’s objectives change. Examples of such changes would include regeneration-harvest of significant portions of the timber, the sale or acquisition of lands included in the certificate and major damage from: storms, fire, pest or disease outbreaks.

Handwritten notes to the plan are acceptable as indications of updates to the plan for individual properties.

Issue 3 • April 30, 2013

Indicator 1.1.2

Management plans must: clearly state landowner’s objectives, describe desired forest condition, include management activities aimed at reaching the desired forest condition and landowner’s objectives, document a feasible strategy for activity implementation, and include a tract map accurately depicting significant forest related resources. Where present, and relevant to the property, the plan must address the following resource elements: forest health, soil, water, wood and fiber production, threatened and endangered species, special sites, invasive species, integrated pest management, and high conservation value forests. Where present, relevant to the property, and consistent with landowner’s objectives, the plan preparer may consider, describe and evaluate the following resource elements: fire, wetlands, desired species (fish, wildlife and plant), recreation, aesthetic quality, biomass and carbon.

What do you do if the landowner does not have a management plan that meets these Stan-dards?

If the landowner is not interested in getting a plan or paying a consultant to write a plan, that landowner should be "De-certified" for lack of interested.

If the landowner is interested in getting a plan, they should be put into the Pioneer category until they get the plan at which time a new Inspection 004 Form should be filled out to move them back to the Certified category.

There are a number of options to help the landowner get help with the cost of a new plan. They can ask their local DNR forester if they have time to write a Stewardship Plan for them. There are cost share programs through the DNR, NRCS and in 2013, the Wisconsin Tree Farm/Plum Creek Management Plan Grant to help cover some of the cost of a new plan.

ATFS’s nation website: www.treefarmsystem.org

Guidance: The plan must clearly state what type of forest conditions (i.e. fast growing conifer plantations, mixed hardwood bottomland forests, older forests of longleaf pine, etc…) the landowner is attempting to achieve, as well as the practices that will be used to achieve the conditions.

The plan must specifically mention the required topics (landowner objectives, forest health, soil, water, wood and fiber production, threatened and endangered species, special sites, invasive species, integrated pest management, and high conservation value forests). If there is no occurrence of an attribute on the required topic list (threatened and endangered species, special sites, invasive species, high conservation value for-ests) the plan may simply say that the attribute is not present on the subject property. (see Standards 4, 5 and 7)

Integrated Pest Management (see glossary) needs only to be addressed if there is a pest or disease outbreak on the property that warrants management action.

The plan may mention attributes from the optional list (fire, wetlands, desired species, recreation, aesthetic quality, biomass and carbon) if they are present or desired by the forest owner. If the topic is mentioned, the plan must address that property attribute in some way.

There is no requirement for level of detail in the plan. Addressing the attribute may be as simple as saying that "the attribute will be protected during all forest operations in compliance with applicable regulations". Alternately, the plan preparer may provide a detailed description of the management actions or protections specific to the attribute.

It is understood that property recently covered by a written management plan will not necessarily have evidence of plan performance.

What do you do if the landowner does not have a management plan that meets these Standards?

If the landowner is not interested in getting a plan or paying a consultant to write a plan, that landowner should be "De-certified" for lack of interested.

If the landowner is interested in getting a plan, they should be put into the Pioneer category until they get the plan at which time a new Inspection 004 Form should be filled out to move them back to the Certified category.

There are a number of options to help the landowner get help with the cost of a new plan. They can ask their local DNR forester if they have time to write a Stewardship Plan for them. There are cost share programs through the DNR, NRCS and in 2013, the Wisconsin Tree Farm/Plum Creek Management Plan Grant to help cover some of the cost of a new plan.

ATFS’s nation website: www.treefarmsystem.org

Last modified on Tuesday, 30 December 2014 15:27