Tree Farm Conservation and Management

tree farm conservationTree farms are valuable ecosystems that make an important contribution to our environment. Like all natural resources, however, they require proper care to ensure they are harvested in a responsible, sustainable manner.

One persistent barrier to the widespread conservation and management of tree farms is a lack of access to information. Isolated by geography, many tree farmers are unable to find reliable, easy-to-use guides to funding opportunities and best practices for resource management online. The Private Landowner Network was created to address this need. On our website, you’ll find a large library of useful articles about tax and estate planning, sustainable forest management, best management practices and a national directory of conservation service providers that includes professional consulting foresters, woodlot and timber companies and others that service your area.

Environmental Benefits of Sustainable Tree Farming

Environmental Benefits of Sustainable Tree FarmingSustainable tree farming produces significant, noticeable benefits to human and environmental health. By improving the overall quality and abundance of America’s woodlands, we create a sink for carbon that can offset the impact of climate change.

More forests also means cleaner air, less soil erosion, more spaces for wildlife to thrive and more green jobs.

Tree Farm Conservation: Challenges and Opportunities

Tree Farm ConservationFor a modern tree farmer, several factors make it difficult to conserve or adopt more sustainable harvesting practices in their farm. The tight profit margins many farmers face is perhaps the most significant — investing in infrastructure improvements or adopting practices that could potentially jeopardize yields is simply not possible for many small-scale, private farmers without outside help.

Fortunately, there are options for offsetting these losses and implementing more sustainable practices. Tree farm conservation grants are available at both the federal and — through organizations such as the Mississippi Forestry Commission — the state level. Independent organizations, most notably, the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), and others such as small woodlot owners associations and the National Association of Consulting Foresters, will also provide professional assistance.

Becoming ATFS Certified

Becoming ATFS CertifiedOnce you’ve committed to sustainable tree farm management, ATFS certification gives you access to useful tools and can open up new revenue streams that allow your business to thrive while doing the environmentally responsible thing.

So far, the ATFS has certified over 22 million acres of forest in the US alone. Certification involves passing an independent audit to confirm you are following the organization’s eight standards of sustainability. Learn more about the ATFS today.

Tax Benefits and Estate Planning

A sustainable woodland is an impressive legacy to leave the future. Through conservation easements, land trusts and other tree farm reservation programs, it’s possible to make ensuring the ongoing protection of your land part of your estate planning. Doing so not only benefits future generations in a larger sense, it may also have significant tax advantages for your loved ones. Visit our estate planning page to read more about your options and locate a tax lawyer or an estate planner in your area who can help you take the first steps.

About the Private Landowner Network

The Private Landowner Network is an initiative of the Resources First Foundation, a national nonprofit that aims to give farmers, ranchers and other landowners the tools to make informed, responsible decisions about how they use their property. You can help us continue to do this by, becoming a member, making a donation or following us on Facebook and Twitter today.