Program Overview

 The Massachusetts Woodlands Institute (MWI) and The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) are working in partnership to offer professional expertise and financial assistance to help you manage your woods through DCR’s Forest Stewardship Program. Part of the Massachusetts Working Forest Initiative (WFI), the Forest Stewardship Program supports private landowners to manage woodlands for timber, soil and water quality, wildlife and fish habitat, and recreation.

Licensed consulting foresters will work with you to develop a 10 year Forest Stewardship Plan based on your stewardship goals. Consulting foresters will recommend actions to protect or increase the environmental values of the land while yielding desired social or economic benefits. 

Please note that cost share rates and programs have been updated for the fiscal year 2024. 

Stewardship Program Application FY24

Climate Forestry Technical Assistance (Landowner Information)

Climate Forestry Technical Assistance (Forester Information)

Climate Stewardship Incentive Program (C-SIP)


The Massachusetts Woodlands Institute (MWI) partners with with the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation's Service Forestry Program to process cost share payments to landowners. 

MWI is a subsidiary organization to Franklin Land Trust (FLT). MWI receives approved cost share forms from DCR on a rolling basis with a typical two to three week processing time for payments. Processing time is longer (typically 4-8 weeks) at the end of the fiscal year (June 30 annually). 

You can contact Emily Boss (MWI) at or Michael Downey (DCR) at with any questions.  

Thank you for your taking part in the Stewardship Program. 


The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Forest Stewardship Program currently has funds available for preparing new Forest Stewardship Management Plans through a cost share program.

This statewide cost share program is available to:

  • Massachusetts landowners that own woodlands of 10 or more acres, and who do not have an existing Stewardship Plan.
  • Landowners currently enrolled in Chapter 61A or 61B who do not have an existing Forest Management Plan.
  • Municipally-owned forest land parcels of 25 acres or more.

Cost Share Information

Forest Stewardship Cost-Share Reimbursement is only available for new Forest Stewardship Plans. The exception to this rule is the case of a new landowner who inherits a plan from the previous owner.

Acreage Cost share Reimbursement for NEW Stewardship Plans


  • 10 to 36 acres $1,140
  • 37 to 499 acres $1,140 + $16.00 per acre over 36
  • Over 500 acres Based on a written estimate by MA Licensed Forester & approved by DCR
    • $14,622 maximum reimbursement for applicants over 500 acres
      • 500 to 999 acres = $1,140 + $14.00/acre over 36 acres ($14,622.00 maximum reimbursement)
    • $19,622 maximum reimbursement for applicants over 1,000 acres
      • 1,000+ acres = $1,140 + $12.00/acre over 36 acres ($19,622.00 maximum reimbursement)


Acres Owned Foresters for the Birds
  New FSP Existing FSP Existing CH 61/61A/61B
10 to 20 acres $500 $800 $1,100
21 to 50 acres $600 $1,000 $1,300
Greater than 51 acres $700 $1,200 $1,500


Acres Owned Climate Forestry Program
  New FSP Existing FSP Existing CH 61/61A/61B
10 to 20 acres $1,000 $1,500 $2,000
21 to 50 acres $2,000 $2,500 $3,000
Greater than 51 acres $3,000 $3,500 $4,000


Acres Owned Climate + Bird Programs
  New FSP Existing FSP Existing CH 61/61A/61B
10 to 20 acres $1,500 $2,300 $3,100
21 to 50 acres $2,600 $3,500 $4,300
Greater than 51 acres $3,700 $4,700 $5,500

When applicable—cost-share reimbursement rates for Foresters for the Birds or Climate Forestry
or combining Climate Forestry and Foresters for the Birds are “in addition to” Cost-Share Reimbursement rates for NEW Stewardship Plans.

For example, a landowner with a 100-acre property not currently enrolled in Forest Stewardship or Chapter 61, 61A, or 61B programs, seeking a NEW plan encompassing both Climate and Birds. In this scenario, they would be eligible to receive:

Example - $1,140 + $16/acre over 36 acres, totaling $2,164, plus $3,700 (Climate & Birds) for a total of $5,864.


Technical Assistance Cost-Share for Climate Forestry Program

 Cost-Share Rate

Assistance Category


Up to $120/hour

Consulting Forester technical assistance prior to your plan being written.

Up to 4

Up to $120/hour

Completed Climate Plan Review by your Consulting Forester

(prior to plan submission to DCR).

Up to 2

Up to $120/hour

Includes technical assistance from your Consulting Forester prior to your plan being written as well as plan review (prior to plan submission to DCR).

Up to 6


Climate Stewardship Incentive Program (C-SIP) - Five Practices

C-SIP Handbook 2024

C-SIP 1: Harvest Layout

C-SIP 2: Legacy Tree Retention

C-SIP 3: Tree Marking

C-SIP 4: Invasive Plant Species Control

C-SIP 5: Climate Smart BMPs


How to Enroll

  1. Complete the Forest Stewardship Plan Application (PDF)  and IRS W-9 Form.
  2. Mail the completed application and W-9 to:
      Massachusetts Forest Stewardship Program
      355 West Boylston Street
      Clinton, MA 01519 
    • Or email application to
  3. DCR will review your application and notify you once you have been approved.
  4. Once your application is approved, your Consulting Forester to develop a Forest Stewardship Management Plan for your woods. Click here for a list of Massachusetts Consulting Foresters
  5. Your Consulting Forester will submit the completed Forest Stewardship Plan to DCR for approval.
  6. Once DCR approves the Forest Stewardship Plan, you will receive reimbursement from the Mass Woodlands Institute based on your cost share reimbursement rate.
  7. Landowners have 10 years to implement recommendations outlined in the Forest Stewardship Plan. DCR approval of plans must be in place before recommendations are implemented.

More Information

To learn more about the MA DCR Working Forest Initiative and Forest Stewardship Program click the links below:

Working Forest Initiative

Forest Stewardship Program

Forest Stewardship Management Plan Application

IRS W-9 Form Find a Local Professional

For more information contact Michael Downey, Forest Stewardship Service Forester (978) 368-0126 ext. 129

FSC Green Certification


FSC Green Certification is not available through the Working Forest Initiative at this time. 

Caring For Your Woods

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Massachusetts Woodlands Institute and Northern Woodlands Magazine recently published the "Caring For Your Woods" series. These free booklets offer tools, resources and information for forest landowners interested in caring for their woods.

A Starting Point

Working With Nature

A Valuable Resource

To request hard copies contact Michael Downey, MA DCR Forest Stewardship Program Service Forester.

(978) 368 0126 ext 129

Mentorship Program

Mentorship Program

A partnership between MA Woodlands Institute, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation with Eagle Eye Institute and other regional partners to reduce barriers and provide work experience and networking for students and young people in Massachusetts.  Supporting entry and access to forestry and environmental fields by Black, Indigenous, BIPOC and other disadvantaged youth. 

Seasonal Forestry Internship Positions - 2024

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) in partnership with conservation organizations offers paid field-based positions providing experience working on in-demand forestry subjects and conservation and includes job shadowing opportunities with mentors within the fields of consulting forestry, service forestry, forest health and environmental advocacy. 

For more information about each position visit these sites:

East Quabbin Land Trust 

Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance (SEMBPA)

Naushon Island

Application Dates: Application deadline is April 5th by 5pm. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

For a complete application, please provide a cover letter describing your interest in the position, resume, and contact information for three professional references.

For questions: Email James Rassman at