How do I develop a written plan that conforms to the certification standards of ATFS?

Is there a standard format or do I simply lay out my ideas?

Hello Daniel,

We are so glad that you are interested in becoming certified through the American Tree Farm System. ATFS recognizes, both within their community and internationally, landowners who are committed to good stewardship and sustainably managing their woods. To become a certified Tree Farmer, landowners need to have a written management plan that meets the Standards of Sustainability ( We have developed a management plan template that can help landowners not only become a part of ATFS but also meets the requirements for the Forest Stewardship Program and national NRCS cost share programs. That template can be found here: The planning tool on MyLandPlan can help you as a landowner complete the parts of a plan that you can develop: the map of your property and the goals you have for your property. Through MyLandPlan, you can connect with your forester (if he or she has a profile on our Forester Directory) and your forester can view what you have developed. That will assist your forester as he or she develops the rest of your written management plan. If you have any additional questions about certification through ATFS, please contact our Certification Coordinator: Justin Lindenberg at

Thanks again for your interest.

Caroline Kuebler, Outreach Manager