The Forest Stewardship Program is a nationwide effort led by the US Forest Service and implemented through State Forestry organizations. The purpose of the Forest Stewardship Program is to help family forest owners with advice and assistance in caring for and enjoying their woodlands.
About eight-five percent of the forests in Vermont are privately-owned. Most of these are in family woodlands that range in size from five to 200 acres. Most people don't think of their patch of woods as being a "forest." But these patches of private woods, stitched together into landscapes make the Green Mountain State into one of the most heavily forested states in the nation. So small forests are a pretty big deal for both the families who own and enjoy them and for the well-being of Vermont. Forest Stewardship recognizes and celebrates them.
Forest Stewardship is supported in Vermont through the County Foresters who can help landowners with guidance for plans that address multiple values.
Forest Stewardship Plans are required for properties enrolled in Vermont's Forest Legacy Program, and Practice Programs through the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Plans written to Tree Farm standards also qualify as Forest Stewardship Plans for properties 10 acres and above. Plans written for Vermont's Use Value Appraisal program qualify as Forest Stewardship Plans if they take water, wildlife, and ecosystems into consideration for management. A Forest Stewardship Plan can help landowners qualify for practice programs through the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and may enable qualification in other private forestry programs and projects.