Welcome to the Forestry Page!
What is the Forestry Assistance Program (FAP)?
Do you have forested property in Manistee, Mason, or Lake Counties? Do you have questions about forest management options, wildlife habitat, or other natural resources topics? Are you interested in having somebody speak about natural resources or conduct forestry-related demonstrations and workshops? If you answered yes to any of these questions, contact Josh Shields, Outreach Forester with the Manistee Conservation District.
Through the Forestry Assistance Program (FAP), Josh provides technical assistance to private landowners and conducts outreach events such as forestry-related presentations, workshops, and training sessions. FAP, funded by Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), is implemented by Michigan Conservation Districts so forestry information and assistance can be delivered to you at the local level.
If you own forested property, Josh will meet with you for free, conduct a site assessment, and address your questions and concerns, whether they be about timber harvesting, wildlife habitat, forest ecology, or forest diseases and pests. He will also discuss your goals and provide you with information about state and federal assistance programs, tax incentive programs such as the Qualified Forest Program (QFP), and contact information for natural resource professionals that can help you see your goals come to fruition. Furthermore, Josh conducts demonstrations pertaining to forestry and related topics; gives presentations about natural resources to environmental groups, clubs, and other organized groups; and provides training sessions pertinent to forestry, habitat management, and other facets of natural resources management.
Enroll in the Qualified Forest Program (QFP)
For eligible forestlands, Josh can assist with preparing an application for enrolling in the Quality Forest Program (QFP), whereby private landowners who actively manage their can receive certain reductions in property taxes.
Here are some basic eligibility requirements:
*You must own a forested parcel that is at least 20 acres.
*If your forested parcel is 20-39, acres, ≥ 80% must be productive (producing ≥ 20 cubic feet of wood per acre per year).
*If your forested parcel is 40-640 acres, at least 50% must be productive (producing ≥ 20 cubic feet of wood per acre per year).
*You find a Qualified Forester to write a management plan. A Qualified Forester must be 1) certified by the Society of American Foresters (SAF), 2) a Forest Stewardship Plan (FSP) writer, 3) a Technical Service Provider (TSP) registered with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for Forest Management Plan Development, and/or 4) a Registered Forester.
Some benefits of QFP include:
*You would receive a maximum 18 mill reduction of school property taxes.
*Public access on your land is not a requirement.
*You will learn about forest management and contribute to regional economies by practicing sustainable timber harvesting!
Helpful Downloads and Links:
CLICK HERE for updates about presentations, training sessions, and important news relevant to forestry.
Landowners - CLICK HERE for information about the MAEAP Forest, Wetland, and Habitat*A*Syst
Landowners - CLICK HERE for information about Michigan's American Tree Farm System (ATFS).
Landowners - CLICK HERE for a list of foresters. CLICK HERE for a list of tree planters, or to find an arborist or logger.
Foresters – CLICK HERE for information about parcels owned by landowners who wish to hire a private sector forester.
CLICK HERE for a list of forestry programs and other organizations.
CLICK HERE for links to forestry educational tools.
Contact Josh Shields:
Office Phone: 231-889-9666
Mobile Phone: 989-220-9236