Forest Management Assistance

AFC and Landowner PhotoThe Alabama Forestry Commission assists landowners in managing their forests by helping landowners understand forest stewardship concepts of sustainable forest management. All recommended forest management plans and advice are offered at no cost and follow the National Stewardship Program which operates within the guidelines set out by the National Association of State Foresters' Principles and Guides for a Well-Managed Forest..

To help landowner’s have a well-managed forest, AFC associates seek out landowners with the goal of providing opportunities to learn about multiple resource forest management. Using a stand management recommendation (SMR) landowners are provided a written proposal to address a specific situation. Next, the landowner is encouraged to address the management of the entire property through a Stewardship Forest Management Plan. Once the management plan is in place current accomplishments are acknowledged by the awarding of a Stewardship Certification. By partnering very closely with the American Tree Farm System and once a landowner is a Forest Steward, the merits of Tree Farm and third party certification are presented. As a landowner grows in the knowledge of multiple use forest management a threshold is reached where the landowner becomes eligible for Alabama’s flagship program, TREASURE Forest. TREASURE is an acronym for Timber, Recreation, Environment, Aesthetics, for a Sustained Usable REsource. When a landowner is awarded TREASURE Forest status, they have demonstrated sound multiple resource management to wisely meet their own objectives while at the same time protecting and enhancing the forest resources of Alabama.

There are 3 forest stewardship programs available for interested landowners.

TREASURE Forest - Alabama’s flagship program

The TREASURE Forest program is a voluntary program that seeks to promote sound and sustainable, multiple-use forest management. This type of management encourages landowners to use their forests wisely to meet their own needs while at the same time protecting and enhancing the environment. The TREASURE Forest Program promotes this management ethic through education and recognition. Education is provided through information and on-the-ground technical assistance while recognition is provided through scheduled landowner events.

The TREASURE Forest designation is earned by private landowners who display their commitment to the TREASURE Forest ethic through the physical management that takes place on their land. TREASURE Forest and TREASURE Forest landowner are earned titles that represent good stewardship of the land, protection and/or enhancement of the multiple resources of the forest, and provide benefits for both present and future generations.

Forest Stewardship

Alabama’s Forest Stewardship Program is the program that introduces non-industrial private landowners to forest management concepts. It is sponsored by the National Forest Stewardship Program as authorized by the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978. It provides non-industrial private forest landowners technical assistance to encourage and enable long-term forest management. A primary focus of this program is the development of a comprehensive, multi-resource forest management plan that provides landowners with the information they need to meet their forest management objectives.


Tree Farm

The Tree Farm System mission is to promote the growing of renewable forest resources on private lands while protecting environmental benefits and increasing public understanding of all benefits of productive forestry. This program provides landowners with the opportunity to become SFI® certified. The Sustainable Forestry Initiative requires landowners to manage their forests to meet the needs of the present without compromising the forests of the future.

Tree Farm landowners have timber management as one of their management objectives. Even so, Tree Farms are more than pine plantations or Christmas tree farms. Tree Farms are varied in nature and contain many different habitats and stages of forest regeneration, from seedlings to mature timber. Biodiversity is a critical component of a certified Tree Farm. Tree Farmers must maintain natural forest buffers, follow approved conservation principles, and use best management practices.