Many people think that production of timber is the overwhelming objective of forest landowners and that the science and practice of forestry is only about growing timber. This assumption could not be further from the truth. The fact is that landowners such as you often have numerous objectives for their forestland, which may or may not include timber harvesting. Professional foresters are trained to help landowners achieve those objectives. A recent survey of forest landowners (Butler 2008) suggested the following common objectives:
Spend some time thinking about your objectives. Write them down on paper. Compare notes with members of your family. Once you have taken these actions, consider consulting a professional forester about how you can achieve your goals. A professional forester can help you by writing a forest management or stewardship plan. This plan will describe the resources you have on your land and how those resources can be utilized to accomplish your objectives.
Greg Frey, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Virginia State University
Butler, Brett J. 2008. Family Forest Owners of the United States, 2006. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-27. Newtown Square, PA: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 72 p