Forest Management Initiatives
Over the past two years EEA has also been working with a diverse coalition of organizations to move important forest initiatives forward. Through a series of five Forest Forums, a group of 35 individuals, representing forest landowners, private foresters, timber harvesters, mill owners, land trusts, and environmental advocates, have been involved in several forest initiatives including: revisions to the Current Use Forest Tax Law Program (Chapter 61); activations of the State Forestry Committee; recommendations for the state's Working Forest/Forest Reserves proposal; and recommendations for the state's Chapter 61 and Forest Stewardship Green Certification effort.
EEA also supports the highest standards for forest management on the state's more than two million acres of private forest land by funding forest stewardship plans for interested private landowners. Through an extensive outreach effort, DCR's Forest Stewardship Program has sent educational materials to nearly 15,000 landowners who collectively own 685,000 acres or 1/3 of the state's private forest land. Over the past three and one half years, this project has completed 760 forest stewardship plans on more than 51,000 acres of forests. Each plan is completed by a private professional forester who works closely with the landowner to meet the landowner's goals by utilizing sustainable forest management practices. Landowners commit to implement these plans and keep their land in forest cover for a 10 year period. At a cost to the state of about $17 per acre, this is an excellent tool to help conserve forest land and increase sustainable forest management.
Links to forestry-related resources including "Amendments to Chapter 61 / 61A / 61B" and and other laws, regulations, and policies from the Department of Conservation and Recreation.