We sometimes think that the best thing we can do for our woods is to leave them alone and let them take care of themselves. That is simply not true—especially not today, when our forests are under siege from a variety of threats. For most of us, keeping our forests healthy and beautiful will require some vigilance and an occasional nudge towards better growth and health.
The right service provider can make this task a lot easier for you by giving you the information and advice you need to make good decisions for your woods. Professional assistance is even more valuable if you have specific goals for your woods, like restoring a native forest or creating a songbird habitat. Professionals can guide your actions so that every investment of time and resources yields the best impact based on your goals. They can also prevent costly mistakes.
Accessing help need not be expensive. Many nonprofit and government organizations share your goal of keeping
your woods healthy, and provide free or discounted services to landowners. Moreover, there are government programs to help woodland owners make improvements to their land. Whether you wish to protect your woods' current health or realize your vision for your woods' future, you owe it to yourself to explore these sources of advice and assistance.
This section describes service providers and organizations that provide advice and assistance to woodland owners. It will help you figure out what services are available (some are free and some are paid), and how to find the right service provider for your needs.
- Your state forestry agency
- Extension services
- Forestry and landowner associations
- The American Tree Farm System
- Nonprofit organizations
- Resources in your state