Small ownerships: Cross-boundary coordination

April 4, 2008 at 4:26 am Leave a comment

The high fixed costs associated with managing small parcels can be spread out across more parcels if you’re able to coordinate your forest stewardship activities with nearby woodland owners.  Your forester, logger, or local MFA chapter may be able to help you identify other area landowners who might be interested in collaboration.

Joint harvest agreements

Multi-parcel harvests occur frequently in Minnesota.  This approach benefits everyone involved, because it’s more efficient that individual transactions with individual landowners and loggers.  However, working with others requires clear communication and makes a written timber harvest contract all the more important.

Regional management plans

The Minnesota Forest Resources Council’s Landscape Program has convened interested stakeholders in each of six major forest landscapes.  These groups have developed broadly supported general management plans reflecting social, economic, and ecological priorities for each landscape.  While in no way binding, these plans do offer general recommendations that can help guide individual parcel management, giving landowners confidence that they’re contributing to larger goals.  Learn more about the MFRC landscape program here.

Woodland owner co-operatives

Some groups of woodland owners have chosen to band together to form a landowner co-operative.  Examples in Minnesota include Headwaters Forestry Co-op in the Browerville area, Northwoods Forestry Co-op near Aitkin, and the Cook County Sustainable Forestry Co-op (find contact information for these and others at Woodworks).

Woodland owner co-operatives are not for everybody.  They’ve had mixed success nationwide in recent years.  However, these organizations do offer a number of advantages to members, including reduced costs of a number of forestry services, increased access to competitive markets, social networks, and learning opportunities.  To learn more about woodland owner co-operation, visit Woodworks.


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