State Forestry Laws, Forms, and Instructions

This page is a compilation of various laws, forms, documents and instructions for Forestry programs in Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

The Massachusetts Forest Cutting Practices Act (FCPA)

MA 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.


Chapter 132 Guidance
302 CMR 16.00 Forest Cutting Practices Forest Cutting Practices Regulation
Massachusetts Forestry Best Management Practices Manual 
CH 132 Blank Forest Cutting Plan for with Landowner Information Sheets
CH 132 Forest Cutting Plan Example
Notice of Intent Abutters Form
CH 132 A Reference Guide for Abutters
Forestry MOU                                                                                                                          Appointment of Agent Form 

Forest Management Programs, Purpose

Forest Management Plans are an important component within an overall forest stewardship land ethic.  Each program listed below is based on a forest management plan.  Benefits to landowners vary by program in include property tax reductions, property specific ecological evaluations, cost-share for management planning, entry into further informational programs such as webinars, booklets, and a foundation for entry into other programs that may provide financial incentives for management practices.

Chapter 61 - The Forest Tax Law

Chapter 61 Forest Tax Program
Massachusetts current use programs (Ch. 61, Ch. 61A, and Ch. 61B) were created to give preferential tax treatment to those landowners who maintain their property as open space for the purposes of timber production, agriculture or recreation.
The purpose of 302 CMR 15.00 is to clarify the procedure for classification of forest land in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. (A former version of this regulation, 302 CMR 15.00, was found at 304 CMR 8.00.)
MA General Law Chapter 61
Chapter 61 Programs booklet describes each current use program


Forest Stewardship

Forest Stewardship Program

This is a voluntary program that builds upon the basic forest management plan of the Chapter 61 program.  The management plan provides a wholistic view of the forest resources on the property, cost-share for the cost of the plan, invitations to webinars, woods walks, up-to-date publications, and other continuing education opportunities.

Foresters for the Birds

This is an optional add on component to the Forest Stewardship Plan. The DCR Bird Habitat Assessment Program provides funding assistance to landowners to work with a qualified licensed professional forester or other qualified professional to evaluate existing and potential habitat for a selection of birds. It must be combined with a new or updated Forest Stewardship Plan.

Sample Bird Plan for Woodland Enhancement

Habitat Assessment Forms and Inventory Procedures

Climate Forestry

This is an optional, add-on component to a Forest Stewardship Plan. The DCR Climate Forestry Stewardship helps landowners identify climate vulnerabilities, risks, and adaptation options for their land. This component must be combined with a new or updated Forest Stewardship Plan and should be conducted by a qualified, licensed forester.

Forester and Forest Stewardship Plan Writing Resources

Sample Climate Forest Stewardship Plan

Managing Forests for Climate Change in Massachusetts Forester Guide

Managing Forests for Carbon in Massachusetts

Estimating Carbon for Forest Stewardship Climate Plans

Habitat Resilience Field Assessment Forms

New England Vulnerability Assessment 

Climate Change Tree Atlas 

Example Adaptation Property 

Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science Adaptation Workbook Strategies and Approaches Menu

Landowners and foresters may want to know how much carbon their forest is storing and sequestering – whether they plan to explore forest carbon markets or they simply want to know as part of their management decision making.  The following link has a variety of no-cost tools to provide some options for determining forest carbon storage and sequestration: Forest Carbon Estimators and Calculators 

Training Recordings

Climate Forestry Training Session 1 - 2/15/2023

Climate Forestry Training Session 2 - 2/22/2023 

Climate Forestry Training Session 3 - 3/01/2023

Climate Forestry Training Session 4 - 3/08/2023

Directions and Plan Forms

Forest Management Plan Forms

Forms Reference Table
Name of Form 61/61A/61B Stewardship Bird Habitat Climate
Cover Page        
How to Use this Report     X X
Property Information Form X X X X
Property Information Form Overflow        
Landowner Goals Form   X X X
Property Overview, Regional Significance and Management Summary   X X X
Stewardship Issues no longer required; replaced by Caring for your Woods - a Starting Point Private Lands Forestry        
Stand Summary Table     X X
Stand Description Form X X X X
Management Summary Table     X X
Management Practices Form X X X X
Working Forest Initiative Signature Page X X X X
Certificate for Ch61, Ch61A, Ch61B Forest Lands X      


List of Forms

Appendices and Reference Materials

Stewardship Application


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