Benefits of Becoming a Tree Farmer
The benefits of being a Tree Farmer is to have a well managed forest that is a part of a certified program that will not only enrich the environment, but also the wood industry of Wisconsin. It will also give the Tree Farmer an opportunity to compete in the Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year program, which recognizes the recipient's hard work and passion as well as their outreach and education they have provided to others.
4 Steps to Becoming a Tree Farmer
1. The landowner must reach out to either the state committee or the American Tree Farm System to see if they meet eligibility. The Tree Farmer must have a management plan or inquire about getting a management plan that addresses air, water, soil quality, wildlife, wood, recreation, special sites, invasive species, and integrated pest management as described in the ATFS Standards of Sustainability.
2. If the landowner meets step number 1, they should request a property inspection with one of the trained Tree Farm Inspecting Foresters.
3. The Tree Farm Inspector will visit the property and verify that the plan and management activities meet the ATFS Standards of Sustainability.
4. If approved for certification, the ATFS sign can be posted with pride. The Tree Farm will be entered into the data base. The Tree Farmer will be recognized for good stewardship and their commitment to sustainability on their woodlands.
Obligations of a Tree Farmer
As a Tree Farmer, you are obligated to have a current management plan that meets the requirements of the ATFS Standards of Sustainability. The Standards of Sustainability is a tool to help the woodland owner to be effective stewards of the land as they manage renewable resources and promote environmental, economic, and social benefits and to work to increase public understanding of sustainable forestry. Along with the sound forest management plan, the Tree Farmer works to carry out the objectives of the plan and maintain a sustainable and healthy forest. The landowner must meet the 10 acre minimum acreage and not to exceed 10,000 acres. Once approved for certification, the Tree Farmer will be entered into the database and will be given a complementary Tree Farm sign that should be displayed proudly and be posted in a visible area where others can see that the forest is managed sustainably.
Are you in the Managed Forest Law (MFL) Program?
Landowners in the Managed Forest Law program can become certified American Tree Farmers simply by requesting that their County's DNR Tax Law Specialist designate their MFL property to be in the MFL Certified Group. They can then request the ATFS sign for their property by submitting the Sign License & Request Form.
If your Tree Farm is not enrolled in the WI DNR Managed Forest Law Program and you would like to assist us in updating our database records for your Tree Farm, please click here.