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Old October 29th, 2018, 10:13 PM

Location: Cass City, Michigan
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Default NRCS Forest Management Plan

We have a forester coming out in a week to develop a Forest Management Plan for our sugarbush. Anyone have experience with creating one? Iím looking for any tips about what we should ask and anything to know ahead of time.

Our eventual goal is to get good advice about selectively cutting for the best long-term syrup production. We have lots of huge, mature trees, but fewer of the one-tap trees we need for long-term viability. We also have very little species diversity, as in a smattering of beech and black maples among almost all sugars with a handful of reds. Seems great for our purpose?

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Old October 30th, 2018, 11:23 AM
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Sue, I've had a forest stewardship plan (slightly different than a forest management plan) written for my property in the UP which allowed me to enroll all those forested acres into the Qualified Forest Program. There are definite tax advantages to the program but maybe not in your case if your syrup woods is already zoned agricultural. I would definitely ask about the QF program. Have all of your objectives spelled out and prioritized, it helps the writer in writing the plan (especially those not directly sugarbush related). Don't be afraid to speak up now prior to implimentation of the plan. I definitely had some of the prescriptions in my plan tweaked for future sugarbush activities. I am currently having a thinning conducted in the hardwood sections of my property along with small scale modified clear cuts of the aspen sections. Don't be afraid to be hands on with your plan. I have done quite a bit of the work myself (I marked the hardwood sections for cutting
, put in food plots and have planted some wildlife benefiting trees).
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Old October 30th, 2018, 05:46 PM
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I had a Forest Stewardship Plan drawn up by a NYS Forester about 12-14 years ago. The forester walked my woods with me and asked lots of questions about what my goals were. He then wrote up a proposed plan and sent me a copy. I adjusted it to better fit my goals and sent it back to him. He then wrote the official plan which fully followed my goals.
The process was easy and while I had lots of questions before he came, he answered all of my questions and then asked lots more to be sure he addressed my goals.
While you are not going for a Forestry Stewardship plan, I'd think the process will be very similar.
By the way, mine was done at no cost by a NYS forester and I got more than a great plan.
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