Do you need a new forest management plan? That is a question we hear from landowners and it is hard to put an exact expiration date on a management plan. Why, because both forests and people are dynamic and can change over time. So one landowner might need a new plan before someone else due to changes they might experience. What are those changes that might necessitate a new plan?
- Change in your forest could be due to a natural disaster or an outbreak of pests or disease. For example, if your management plan describes a forest that includes a lot of ash trees and activities that help you manage for those ash, but the Emerald Ash Borer has killed all your ash, then you might need a new plan. When you read your plan, it should describe the forest that you see when you walk the land. If it doesn’t, then it is time to talk with your forester.
- Have the objectives for your land changed? If you answer that yes, then you might need to consider a new plan. For example, has your land recently changed ownership, or perhaps you are working to engage the next generation in stewardship? If so, you might have some new or additional objectives or goals for your land that weren’t included in your original plan. Alternatively, the next generation might share your same goals therefore they don’t need a new plan when they take over ownership.