Financial assistance to support the development of forest management plans is available for eligible woodland owners in 13 counties in northeastern North Carolina.
The Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project, a nonprofit organization that Roanoke Cooperative helped establish in 2013, has announced that it has funds available on a first-come, first-served basis to assist forest landowners in the region who don’t have forest management plans.
The SFLRP is offering up to $1,000 per eligible landowner to aid in plan development.
These funds will be awarded until the allotted funds are depleted.
Maintaining a detailed forest management plan is a requirement for landowners applying for financial assistance to implement forestry practices or enter into the NC Tree Farm Program.
To be eligible for this SFLRP funding, a landowner must:
Own at least one contiguous, wooded eight-acre property in Bertie, Chowan, Edgecombe, Gates, Granville, Halifax, Hertford, Martin, Nash, Northampton, Perquimans, Vance or Warren counties
Be or become a Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project participant
Use awarded funds to pay the North Carolina Forest Service or a private consulting forester to develop a forest management plan and the enrollment fee for forest certification into the NC Tree Farm Program
For landowners who wish to enroll in the NC Tree Farm Program, funds are available to assist with the $350 enrollment fee.
The property must contain a minimum of 10 wooded acres and meet other NC Tree Farm Program guidelines.
“It’s very important that woodland owners have a forest management plan in place, regardless of whether they own eight acres, 80 acres or 280 acres,” SFLRP Director Alton Perry said. “A forest management plan provides landowners guidance and recommendations to reach their objectives of selling timber, improving wildlife habitat, planting trees after a clear-cut harvest or meeting certification standards in the tree farm program. Absent a plan, the risk is far higher that an owner will miss opportunities to reach his or her goals and to access technical and financial assistance that is available from SFLRP and, even more so, from state and federal forestry and conservation agencies.”
SFLRP is operated through Roanoke Cooperative’s nonprofit subsidiary, The Roanoke Center. Since the program’s inception a decade ago, it has assisted more than 285 landowners owning approximately 22,000 acres, and more than 200 forest management plans have been created for approximately 12,500 forested acres.