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How to create a forest management plan

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Posted on October 12, 2021 | INFLOR Forest Management and Productivity

A step-by-step guide to crafting the most effective plan to achieve your forestry investment goals

In the United States, approximately 60% of the country’s 741 million acres of forests are owned and managed by private entities which includes individuals, families, corporations, and investment funds. [1]

Whether publicly or privately owned, it’s essential for timberland investors to create a well-defined forest management plan to achieve success in what they sought out to achieve through the investment. 

For private owners with little to no prior forest management experience, it’s especially important to partner with a well-regarded Timber Investment Management Organization (TIMO) or other forestry experts to guide you through the planning and management process for the lifetime of your forest ownership. 

Continue reading to learn the steps that need to be taken to craft the most effective plan possible to achieve your forestry investment goals. 

 

#1: Consult with forestry experts.

Unless you’re an industry expert or hold years of timberland investing experience, the first step in creating an effective forest management plan is consulting and partnering with forestry experts to guide you through the step-by-step planning process.

Consulting with experts is not unusual because many timberland investors—especially individuals and families—do not have the expertise or resources at their disposal to create an effective forest management plan on their own.  

 

#2: Assess the current condition of your forest.

Once you’ve partnered with an individual or team of forestry experts, the next step in the planning process is to assess the current condition of your forest. 

Begin by surveying your property to identify its strengths and weaknesses, taking detailed notes describing the land and its available natural resources such as timber, water, and wildlife along the way. Consider hiring a company to take aerial photos of the property to add to your records, and collect all useful maps including topographic and soil maps for future reference. 

Taking the time to accurately and thoroughly take stock of all that your land has to offer allows you to consider what changes you can make to your forest to improve its overall condition and timber management potential. 

As you conduct the assessment, remember that the more information you collect about your forest, the more successful your forest management plan will be.

 

#3: Set goals for your forest management plan.

After you’ve thoroughly documented what your forest has to offer with the support of your forestry experts, it’s essential to set goals for your timberland investment. 

Think about why you chose to make this investment in the first place and allow that thought process to lead you to set goals and intentions for the future of the property. 

If you aren’t familiar with forestry investment goals, your advisors can assist you with ideas based on their knowledge of your land, but some common goals include:

  • Optimizing the land for recreational use
  • Producing income from timber sales through consistent harvesting 
  • Creating a safe environment for the local wildlife
  • Protecting the health of the forest.

Your investment goals could work to help a variety of groups or solely focus on one such as the local community, forest wildlife, and your financial interests.

No matter what you choose, your forestry investment goals will change over time depending on the current state of your forest. It’s important to reassess and update your goals on a regular basis to ensure the success of your investment.

 

Related resource:
The importance of a strategic timber harvesting plan


#4: Create a plan of action to achieve your goals.

Once you’ve set goals for what you want to achieve out of owning your property, you need to create a detailed plan of action to bring your land to success. 

During this step of your forest management plan, it’s especially important to consult with your forestry experts who will have the insider knowledge needed to recommend the right tools, resources, and people that will be able to help you complete everything that needs to be done. 

At this step, it’s often beneficial to consider utilizing forest management software and other technologies to stay organized and well-equipped with all the tools you need to succeed. 

 

#5: Utilize the right forest management software solution.

In modern day forest management, utilizing a highly-effective forest management software solution is essential to achieving your investment goals. 

Forest management software will be extremely beneficial when you’re working to implement your forest management plan because it works to uncomplicate your day-to-day tasks, and ensures quality and traceability in all stages of the process.

When searching for the best solution, choose one that’s capable of controlling, tracking, and managing all aspects of your forestry business. In addition to being built for teams, the most effective forest management software will provide:

  • Access from anywhere
  • Seamless integration
  • Simple data extraction

 

Searching for the secret to successful forest management plans?

Look no further than INFLOR! Trusted by leading TIMOs and institutional investors, INFLOR Forest combines the powers of monitoring and questioning with the tools and access to data you need to gain better insights and yield the best results.

In addition to the capabilities of INFLOR Forest, you can count on our team to provide you with streamlined processes, expert consultancy, in-depth training, and continued support as you work to construct and implement your forest management plan.

With our solutions and valued partnership, you can streamline and scale your operations across the whole forest chain from land management and seedling production to planting, harvesting, and wood hauling.

 

Ready to partner with INFLOR?
Learn more about INFLOR Forest and request a demo today.

 

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Source:

1: National Association of State Foresters | Who Owns America’s Forests?

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