Frederick land owners interested in good forestry practices should consider the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) foreststewardship program. According to DNR:
Forest stewardship is "the managing of forest resources in a way that meets the needs of the current owners, but does not detract or degrade the use by future generations." It requires that the owner has a sense of responsibility; knows the opportunities; is aware of the consequences of actions; and is guided by objectives.
A DNR forest stewardship has several components:
- Developing a forest stewardship plan - the "plan" is a guide which a property owner can follow to meet long-term conservation objectives for forest land. This written document describes the forest resources present on the property, the landowner's management goals and objectives, and the recommended practices or activities to be carried out over time on the land.
- Cost-Share Assistance - there are a number of federal and state programs available that will help defray a a significant portion of the cost to implement forest practices. This section provides an overview of how cost-share programs are implemented and the programs available.
- Harvesting of forest products - The harvesting of forest products is something that most landowners do once or twice in a lifetime. This section provides a overview of the timber sale process using a consultant forester.
- Handling of Property, Income, and Estate Taxes - Maryland can increase the financial return on their forest stewardship efforts by using existing laws and programs to minimize property, income, and estate taxes.
- Developing a Working Forest Conservation Easement - This estate planning tool allows forest landowners to ensure that their forest stewardship efforts extend beyond their tenure. Provides an overview for private forest landowners.
The interested land owner can visit the links above to learn more about the program. If you which to pursue a forest stewardship in Frederick County you can contact Mike Kay (Frederick County Forester with the state Department of Natural Resources as well as Board member). Mike Kay's contact information can be found on the Board members page.
Training of forest stewardship is available. Fortunately for Frederick County land owners the Forest Health & Your Woodland Workshop is held the first Saturday in November each year at Frederick Community College in Frederick, MD. This seminar is targeted to forest landowners and provides concurrent workshops on forest management, taxes, wildlife habitat, alternative income opportunities and many other topics. Registration is organized by Matt Morris and Kelly Nichols, Agricultural Educators, at the Maryland Cooperative Extension - Frederick County Office. Pre-registration required.
In 2010, a survey of Maryland Woodland Stewards was taken. 61 Maryland Woodland Stewards participated in the survey. Thank you to those who took the time to participate. Your feedback is valuable to us. The report, Maryland Woodland Stewards Survey Results 2010, can be downloaded. This report is a sampling and also includes the type of activities that take place by trained cooperators. Please feel free to share this report with your family, friends and neighbors.
For those land owners who want to improve their woodland and wildlife habitat as well as to motivate others to manage their woodland, the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension and the National Wild Turkey Federation offer the Maryland Woodland Stewards Project. This project teaches sound forest and wildlife management practices to a select group of people each September in a three-day seminar. In return, participants, known as Maryland Woodland Stewards, apply these principles to their own property and actively encourage others in their communities to practice good forest stewardship by acting as informal educators.
Maryland Woodland Stewards class of 2018
FCFCDB member David Barrow was in this class