Alabama Stewardship Program


Based on the National Stewardship Program, Stewardship in Alabama is a multiple-use forest management assistance program available to private forest landowners. It is designed to increase public awareness about wise forest use and management. Commission associates will provide free, on the ground planning assistance to help landowners meet their objectives. Additionally, a written Stewardship Forest Management Plan designed to assist the landowner in meeting his objectives can be produced upon request. A Forest Stewardship Management Plan is a requirement of the program.

In order to qualify to be a Stewardship Forest Landowner and for the property to be recognized as an Alabama Stewardship Forest, a landowner must:

  • Have 10 acres or more of forest land

  • Have a current Forest Management plan that meets stewardship principles

  • Have identified one primary and one secondary objective

  • Have actively practiced multiple use management that is in accordance with best management practices

Upon completion of various land use accomplishments and meeting the listed requirements for Stewardship Forest, a field inspection by the local Commission associate will be done. When all requirements are satisfied, the designation of Stewardship Forest is awarded.

National Stewardship Program

Approximately forty-five percent of all forestland in the United States, or 354 million acres is under nonindustrial private ownership, contributing significantly to America's clean water and air, wildlife habitat, recreational resources and timber supplies. Authorized by the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978, the Forest Stewardship Program (FSP) provides technical assistance, to nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) owners to encourage and enable active long-term forest management. A primary focus of the Program is the development of comprehensive, multi-resource management plans that provide landowners with the information they need to manage their forests for a variety of products and services. For more details on how the Forest Stewardship Program operates, see the National Standards and Guidelines.

Forest Stewardship Management Plans

Since its establishment in 1991 through 2006, the Program has produced more than 270,000 multi-resource management plans encompassing more than 31 million acres of nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) land. Forest Stewardship plans lay out strategies for achieving unique landowner objectives and sustaining forest health and vigor. Actively managed forests provide timber, wildlife habitat, watershed protection, recreational opportunities and many other benefits for landowners and society. Forest Stewardship plans motivate landowners to become more active in planning and managing their forests, greatly increasing the likelihood that their forests will remain intact, productive and healthy, and that the social, economic and environmental benefits of these lands will be sustained for future generations.

Landowner Participation

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. Cost-share assistance for plan implementation may be available through other programs such as the Forest Land Enhancement Program.

If you would like a resource professional to visit your property or if you would like to nominate an Alabama Forest landowner for the National Stewardship Program just complete and submit the online application.

If you would like more information on the Alabama or National Stewardship Program or the other management programs we use, please contact your local Alabama Forestry Commission office.

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