DNR Forest Stewardship Program policy changes
By Gary Michael, MN DNR – Division of Forestry
The Department of Natural Resource Division of Forestry’s Forest Stewardship Program (FSP) is undertaking a major shift in how it operates. For decades the FSP has been delivering free forest management plans to non-industrial private forest landowners. A recent change in funding will require the FSP to be a more self sufficient program. To achieve greater self sufficiency, the FSP is moving to a fee for service based program.
Stewardship eligible lands are any forestland with existing tree cover and other woody vegetation or lands suitable, and likely, for growing trees and other woody vegetation or land which has significant effect (e.g., streams within a wooded type, wetlands, fields to be planted for wildlife or timber, etc.) on the forested acres.
The minimum acreage necessary to receive a stewardship plan is twenty acres of tree or other woody vegetation after the plan has been implemented. Exemptions may be applied for on either a county or individual basis.
A couple of examples to help clarify the twenty-acre minimum are as follows:
- If a landowner owns 40 total acres with only 11 acres of woodland, and he or she is interested in planting 9 more acres of trees, they would be eligible to receive a Stewardship Plan and would be eligible for cost share assistance.
- If a landowner owns 18 acres total, and all the acres are wooded, he or she would need an exemption to receive a Stewardship Plan, as they could not meet the minimum 20 wooded acre criteria.
- If a landowner has 30 total acres with only 11 acres of woodland and the landowner does not have any interest in establishing additional acres of trees or other woody vegetation, he or she would not be eligible to receive a plan unless an exemption has been granted
The fee will be a minimum of $230 for a 20 acre plan and a maximum of $1,000 for all plans over 260 acres (up to 1,000 acres). The plan writing fee will be rounded to the nearest whole dollar. All stewardship plan requests over 1,000 acres should be turned over to a FSP partner (consultant forester) so that they can negotiate with the landowner a fee for service (cash plan).
Formula to calculate Stewardship Plan fees:
Formula to calculate the fee for a new or revising an outdated stewardship plan [(stewardship acres – 20 acres)*$3.21)+$230 = plan writing fee
A few examples:
43 acre stewardship plan: [(43 acres – 20 acres)*$3.21] + $230 = $304
178 acre stewardship plan: [(178 acres – 20 acres)*$3.21] + $230 = $737
271 acre stewardship plan: This request is over 260 acres, so the cost is $1,000
Many times only a portion of the land is eligible for a stewardship plan. The fee only reflects the acres included in the plan. The forester will determine the plan acres. All plans will need to be registered with the DNR Division of Forestry.