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.

 


MWI COVID-19 Update:
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). The FLT office is currently closed and all staff, both MWI and FLT, will be working remotely. We are working with our partners at DCR to determine systems that will allow us to continue processing landowner payments during this time.


MWI receives approved cost share forms from DCR on a rolling basis with a typical one-to two week processing time for payments. Our plan moving forward is to process cost share forms and landowner payments twice a month allowing us to continue prompt and timely reimbursements while minimizing risk to staff. There are a few factors that may slow down this process such as limited access to offices, adjusting to new systems, and incomplete landowner paperwork.


You can contact Melissa Patterson-Serrill (MWI) at melissa@masswoodlands.org or Michael Downey (DCR) at michael.downey@state.ma.us with any questions. Updates will be made at this site as available. 


Thank you for your patience.

Eligibility

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.

Cost-Share Reimbursement rates:

  • 10 to 36 acres = $910
  • 37 to 499 acres= $910 + $13.00/acre over 36 acres
  • Over 500 acres= based on a written estimate by MA Licensed Forester & approved by DCR

How to Enroll

  1. Complete the Forest Stewardship Plan Application and IRS W-9 Form.
  2. Send the completed application and W-9 to:
      Massachusetts Forest Stewardship Program
      355 West Boylston Street
      Clinton, MA 01519
  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

MassWoods.net: Find a Local Professional

For more information contact Michael Downey, Forest Stewardship Service Forester
michael.downey@state.ma.us (978) 368-0126 ext. 129

FSC Green Certification

Landowners who have a Forest Stewardship Management Plan and/or are enrolled in the Ch. 61 Current Use program are eligible to become Forest Stewardship Council green certified. Learn more about green certification.

To become green certified, landowners must upgrade their forest management plans to green certification standards.

Cost-share is available for this management plan upgrade. Download a green certification management plan upgrade cost share form.

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.

michael.downey@state.ma.us

(978) 368 0126 ext 129

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