What Is a Stewardship Plan?
My plans are based on conversations with the landowner to determine their ownership objectives. A thorough inventory of the property follows with a written guide presented to the owner that details the best management practices for their land. The plan is not an obligation; it is a number of options based on what the land means to the owner. What their goals have been and what their future plans are.
Forest Stewardship Plans match an owner’s objectives with an inventory of their property and then provide recommendations that protect the conservation values of the land while maximizing its recreation potential. Typical plans feature information on enhancing wildlife habitat, forest management, forest health, and more.
To qualify for the Stewardship Program a parcel must be a minimum of 20 acres all in one piece, with 10 acres at least lightly forested. Plan acres cannot be farmed or developed for residential purposes, but can be part of a larger parcel with those uses. The owner retains complete control of their property - no public access is allowed.
Benefits of a Stewardship Plan
- An independent evaluation of your property and its potential, along with the best options on how to achieve your objectives.
- Qualify you for enrollment in either of two Minnesota programs that offer significant property tax relief
- Establish you as an “agricultural producer” (whether you ever grow a crop or not) according to Natural Resources Conservation Service guidelines allowing you to apply for their many cost-share programs including the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program (WHIP), WRP and others.
- Furnish tax advice from a CPA that specializes in forest tax law, at no charge to the landowner
- Provide contacts with agencies and organizations that offer additional landowner assistance – the US Fish and Wildlife Service and NRCS both offer a number of programs, some at no cost to the landowner.