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Division of Forest Environment
Forest Stewardship Program
If you are a woodland owner and would like to know more about your woodland and how to manage it, Rhode Islands Forest Stewardship Program (FSP) can help you. This program, in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service, is designed to help landowners protect the inherent ecosystem values of their forest. Recognizing the public benefits of good stewardship on private forest land, the Rhode Islands Forest Stewardship Program supports and encourages private forest landowners' efforts to manage, enjoy, and care for their land using a long-term approach.
To enroll in the Stewardship Program you will need a consulting forester to develop a 10-year forest management plan based on your goals and objectives. Foresters and the Care of Your Land will explain what a forester is, what they do, and the type of services they provide. A Forest Stewardship Plan will help you understand the potential of your woodlands. It documents management options and practices designed to maintain the land in a productive and healthy condition for the next generation. Soil and water quality, wildlife and fish habitat, timber and other wood products, and outdoor recreation are among the many factors taken into account. It recommends actions that will protect or increase the environmental values of the land while yielding desired social or economic benefits. The benefits of your wise decisions and actions will extend far beyond the borders of your property! Once you have your finished Forest Stewardship Plan, you may be eligible to participate in our state's current use tax program, "The Farm, Forest, and Open Space Act". This program could provide you with significant reductions in your property taxes.
Who is eligible to participate?
Participation in the Forest Stewardship program is open to any non-industrial private forest landowners who are committed to the active management and stewardship of their forested properties for at least ten years. The FSP is not a cost share program. For financial assistance please see below.
Is Financial Assistance Available?
There is no financial assistance available at this time from Rhode Island's Department of Environmental Management / Division of Forest Environment; However, the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) is currently offering financial assistance for Forest Stewardship Plan development and other forestry related activities through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. You can contact your local NRCS office at (401) 828-1300.
What's the next step?
Contact Tom Abbott, your service forester (401 539-2356) to ask questions about the Program and for advice on finding a consulting forester.
The Forest Stewardship Program adheres to the USDA non-discrimination policy, which prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status.