How to Get Certified

Tennessee Forestry Association forester inspecting a landowner's woodlands.

You’ve found a certification program that’s right for you and your woods. Now, how do you get certified?

The first step is to assess your woods and review your management plan. If you don’t have a management plan, you will need to develop one with the help of your consulting forester. The plan keeps you on track as you manage your woods, and it will pay for itself—and prove invaluable—many times over.

As you take stock of your plan and your woods, ask yourself: am I truly meeting the standards of the program I’ve chosen? Is there anything I need to change?

Once you feel ready, you’ll need to contact the program to apply for certification. For the ATFS, you can fill out a simple form. A professional forester will come out to your property to review your management plan and your woods, just to verify that you really do meet the sustainability standards.

Once you’re certified, you’ll need to undergo periodic inspections to make sure your management activities continue to meet the standards. Though these assessments may make you a little nervous at first, they’re meant to help you. It’s your time to showcase your good stewardship, and your chance to gain the knowledge and tools you need to better care for your woods.

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