In the American Forest Foundation's (AFF) Program Participation and Policies - Categories of Tree Farm Participation, under CERTIIED TREE FARMER, it states, "Landowners must meet ATFS eligibility requirements and own between 10 acres and no more than 20,000 contiguous acres." Acreage Limitations for ATFS Certification", it reads, "The acreage of the entire parcel is used for evaluation purposes. The evaluator is to deduct non-forest acres from the total acreage of the parcel. In cases where the candidate parcel is attached to (part of) a larger property, or ownership, the parcel is the evaluation unit. ....... Forested acres may include features such as food plots, water resources (lakes, ponds, streams), and other non-forested acres as long as these are small enough that they are an integrated part of the forest system."
A "Parcel" can be one or more "contiguous" legal descriptions, including partial legal descriptions.
"Contiguous" is defined as "contiguous parcels are discrete parcels that share a boundary line or corner point and are held under the same legal ownership name.
In 2011 AFF Published an Interpretations and Guidance document part of which address the question of contiguity of a forested track when it is split by a significant State or Federal highway. The Interpretation Language reads: "Significant roads, under ownership of other entities, represent breaks in contiguous forest parcels. Significant roads are defined as roads at least 84 feet wide, inclusive of lanes and cleared zones."
So, how do we handle a large Tree Farm that has a two or more non-contiguous legal descriptions which have to be considered separate parcels?
First of all each parcel has to be a minimum of 10 forested acres that meet the AFF Standards.
Next, each parcel becomes a separate evaluation unit. Each parcel must have a unique Tree Farm number and it's own 004 Form. You can take the original Tree Farm number (9999) and add another letter for each parcel (9999A, 9999B, etc.)
"Same legal ownership name" - means that even if a husband and wife own different legal descriptions, side by side, and manage them together, they are two different Tree Farms. They have to have different Tree Farm Numbers and inspected on different 004 Forms.