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Your Woodlands: Looking forward to 2016!

Posted: December 18, 2015

As 2015 comes to a close, it is time to review your Forest Stewardship Plan and this year’s activities, noting the success or failure of your plan’s recommendations.

Are the forestry management practices implemented working? Has anything changed in your life that affects your goals? For example, are your estate goals still valid? Or, do you need to adjust your plans based on the economy? You want to keep your plan current and your management activities on track.

How is your record keeping? Record keeping is perhaps the easiest but most often neglected task forest landowners have to address. The importance of good record keeping cannot be overstated. Your records are invaluable as you review forest management activities, update your tax accounts, and plan new activities. By incorporating record keeping into your management plan, the plan becomes a living document, constantly updated to reflect recent activity. Two types of records forest owners should maintain relate to forest management and financial issues.

As a forest landowner, you should have a plan that organizes your personal objectives into a comprehensive strategy for attaining woodland goals. To do this, you should have a forest stewardship plan, which is actually a management tool. Your plan helps you solidify your objectives and set a direction for attaining desired future condition in your woodlands. It helps you monitor your progress and provides a clear statement of what should be done when and where. Planning can reduce the stress and anxiety sometimes associated with owning and managing a complex piece of property. Take time now to review your plan. Keeping it current will help you stay on track in the coming year.

Additional information on record keeping for forest landowners is available in the Penn State publication, "Forest Finance 3: Keeping Record of Forest Management Activities." Additional information on Forest Stewardship Plans is available in the Penn State publication, “Forest Stewardship 6: Planning Your Forest's Future.”