How to Protect a Forest of Recognized Importance?

For woodland owners, a more likely scenario is that their property is next to a state or federally protected area and identified as a FORI at a landscape scale. Landowners should consider the impact to a neighboring FORI and opportunities to support consideration of specific values or attributes when planning and implementing activities on their forest property. Given the size and scale of family ownerships eligible for ATFS certification, landowners may be limited in their abilities to significantly impact FORI presence and quality through management at the small scale.

Whether you have a Forest of Recognized Importance or neighbor one, how you manage your woods will have an impact on that forest’s future. These simple steps will help you properly protect all the values in and around your woods.

  1. Take a look around. Take time to make note of special features in your woods, including unusual plants, trees or animals, unexplained trails or ruts, or old or abandoned structures. Make sure to flag them on the ground and on your property map. Use photographs, written notes, a GPS unit—anything that will help you recall and research what you have and later return to the site.
  2. Do your research. Once you’ve found and recorded these potential values on your land, connect with your community to learn more about them. Consult your state’s natural heritage database or wildlife action plan, or call your state department of natural resources or NRCS office, local historical and archaeological societies and local tribal governments. They’ll help you determine your forest’s conservation value and create a plan to protect it.
  3. Document what you find. Now that you’ve evaluated your Forest of Recognized Importance status and created a protection plan, make that part of your management plan. Note in your management plan whether your woods are or contain Forest of Recognized Importance, or if a Forest of Recognized Importance adjoins your property. Mark Forest of Recognized Importance areas on your property map, and include your protection plan for those areas or any information or advice you received from your local and state resources.
  4. Manage mindfully. When it’s time for harvesting, thinning, or any other management activity, consider the impact of that activity on the high conservation values in your Forest of Recognized Importance. Review your maps, notes and protection plan with any professional who is assisting you with forest management activities, so they know to limit their impact and disturb the area as little as possible. Follow up afterwards to make sure your Forest of Recognized Importance or any adjoining Forest of Recognized Importance was properly protected.

Following these simple steps makes you a part of preserving some of our most important social, cultural and environmental resources. Just a little planning and preparation can make a tremendous difference in the health of Forest of Recognized Importance—and not just now, but for generations to come.

Previous page 
Next page 

How can I get more tips?

It’s simple! Enter your email below.