Tree Farm — About West Virginia Tree Farming
The American Tree Farm System is a nationwide program sponsored by the nation's wood-using industries through the American Forest Foundation with the assistance of forestry organizations, public agencies, consulting foresters, and others. Its purpose is to encourage private forest landowners to manage and protect their woodlands for the continuous production of forest products with all the added benefits of improved food and habitat for wildlife, watershed protection, and opportunities for outdoor recreation. The Tree Farm Program gives public recognition to private landowners who are doing a commendable job of managing their woodlands, thereby encouraging others to do likewise.
The West Virginia Tree Farm Program is sponsored by the West Virginia Forestry Association and administered on the local level by the West Virginia Tree Farm Committee. Funding for the program comes from private donations and contributions from the forest products industry.
Over 700 West Virginia landowners take part in the Tree Farm Program. These concerned forest managers continue to receive personal and financial benefits from the woodlands while producing more and better forest products and services for West Virginians.
As the timber products industry in this area continues to grow, tree farmers play a critical role in the economy of West Virginia. Over 60 percent of all the timber harvested in our State comes from nonindustrial private woodlands, that is, land owned by individuals, not the government or timber companies. Private landowners must manage their woodlands properly in order to meet increasing timber harvesting demands.
As a certified tree farmer you will find great pride and satisfaction in managing your forest resources while protecting the interests of your family and others. For your effort you will receive a certificate identifying your woodlands as a Tree Farm. And with that comes the green and white Tree Farm sign that tells everyone you are a concerned forest manager and conservationist. You may even be recognized as an outstanding tree farmer. This honor would allow you to compete with other tree farmers at district, state, regional, and national levels.
As a forest manager your woodlands may produce more forest products than you might have thought possible. Increased yields mean additional income for you and your family.
Tree Farmers enjoy their forests for varied reasons. Some take an active role in the actual application of forest management practices. Others take pleasure in the recreation and aesthetic values, while allowing professionals and laborers to perform the work.
An additional benefit of your participation in the Tree Farm Program will be your interaction with a professional forester as he or she inspects your woodland during certification and recertification visits. More than 75 professional foresters from across the State donate their time to the Tree Farm Program. Their expertise will be invaluable to you as you make management decisions concerning your woodlands. These certification visits are made at no cost to you.
Sound forest management begins with determining your objectives: determining what you have on your land and developing a forest management plan. A professional forester can assist you with this and answer any questions you might have.
A free inspection of your woodlands can be arranged by the West Virginia Tree Farm Committee.To qualify for Tree Farm certification your woodlot must be:
- Ten acres or more.
- Managed for the production of timber and other forest products.
- Protected from fire, insects, disease, erosion, and destructive grazing.
If you are just discovering the benefits of forest management and have not yet met the qualifications for full Tree Farm certification, you may be eligible as a Pioneer Tree Farmer. By developing a written management plan and showing a desire to follow it, you will be on your way toward full certification. You will also receive a one-year subscription to Tree Farmer magazine to help you in making sound forest management decisions. It costs you nothing to join and does not obligate you in any way, other than your personal dedication to sound forest management.
Knowledge, experience, and information are available through the Tree Farm Program. You will receive a one-year subscription to Tree Farmer magazine from the American Forest Foundation. This publication will keep you up-to-date with forest management techniques and legislation that may affect you.
Tree Farmer magazine is a bi-monthly publication by tree farmers for tree farmers and all who benefit from their endeavors. Tree Farmer supports the concept of sustainable production of forest products through responsible forest stewardship on private forestlands. With information, advocacy, and practical advice, the magazine promotes sustainable forestry practices for multiple benefits to the community.
You will also receive the West Virginia Tree Farm Newsletter filled with practical forest management information and notices concerning upcoming workshops, field days, and other events.
The American Tree Farm System is the key to making the most of your woodlands, for whatever your management objectives are. To get started simply print out the information sheet (Adobe PDF file) and return it to the address listed below. A representative from the West Virginia Tree Farm Committee will contact you. There are no fees or obligations.
WEST VIRGINIA FORESTRY ASSOCIATION
P.O. Box 718
Ripley, WV 25271
Phone: (304) 372-1955/1956
Fax: (304) 372-1957