Service Forestry

Service Forestry, also referred to as Private Lands Forestry, provides technical assistance and services to landowners and municipalities.

About us

Service Foresters at work

Private lands play a key role in sustaining clean water, protecting our soil, providing wildlife habitat and producing quality timber resources.

The Service Forestry, also referred to as the Private Lands Forestry Program, is based on the belief that we can best serve the citizens of the commonwealth by helping landowners make educated decisions about their woodlots and protecting our valuable forest resources through fair and consistent application of environmental regulations.

Service Forestry meets the needs of landowners and municipalities by providing technical expertise, services and programs that allow you to get the most of your forested properties.

Landowner Programs

Landowner Programs provide services such as woodland evaluations and wildlife habitat assessment.
Working Forest Initiative


The Working Forest Initiative streamlines programs and services offered to woodland owners who want to experience the full benefits of their private forests. Your woods provide many benefits to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts including clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities and a local wood supply. Some of these programs include:

Foresters for the Birds - DCR partnership with Mass Audubon, provides funding assistance to landowners to work with a consulting forester or other qualified professional to evaluate existing and potential habitat for a selection of birds.

Forest Stewardship Program - Learn more about what’s on your land and how to achieve your management goals through this program. Perhaps you want to enhance wildlife habitat, create or improve recreational trails or conduct a timber harvesting on your private property. If you have more than 10 acres of woodland, The Forest Stewardship Program may provide funding assistance to help you create a Forest Stewardship Plan to help you achieve those goals.

Climate Forestry - Do you wonder about the changing conditions in your woods? Many people are asking more questions about how a changing climate is affecting forests and what actions can be taken to ensure forests stay healthy no matter what the future holds. 

Forest Cutting Practices Act- The FCPA protects the benefits of forests through a permitting process. Applicable to timber harvesting on both public and private forestland, the FCPA regulates any commercial timber cutting of wood products greater than 25 thousand board feet or 50 cords on any parcel of land at any one time. 132 Application Page

Forest Tax Program Chapter 61 - Chapter 61, the Forestland Taxation Act, requires that municipalities reduce assessments of forest land when a landowner is enrolled and observes the Ch. 61 program requirements. Chapter 61 enables landowners to realize the value of the current use of the land in exchange for a ten year commitment to grow forest products while also keeping their land undeveloped. There are many types of forest products. Some of the more common types are wood, timber and Christmas trees. Other kinds of tree forest growth, and any other product produced (and sold) from forest vegetation would also be considered a forest product. 

Your Service Forester

For more information contact one of our regional administrative offices or contact the service forester working in your town.

Service Forestry Districts 2023

Additional Resources

Notices and Events

Grant Opportunity

DCR is seeking Municipalities who have a Forest Stewardship Plan and wish to take steps to implement their plan and involve their community.

Community Forest Stewardship Implementation Grants.

 Town of Sherborn uses goats to help control invasive species
Town of Sherborn uses goats to help control invasive species

These 72-25 matching reimbursement grants aid communities in putting their forest stewardship into practice and connect the local citizens to all the benefits forests provide including a local source of wood products, clean water, biodiversity and wildlife habitat.




Have Questions?

Contact Michael Downey, Forest Stewardship Program Service Forester

978.368.0126 x129

Contact   for Service Forestry


DCR Bureau of Forest Fire Control and Forestry
40 Cold Storage Drive, PO Box 484, Amherst, MA 01004

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