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How this helps you:


Step 1: Discover the history your woodlands and plan its future

Learn more about the history of your woodlands. If you don't know how your woodlands came into your family's possession, learn how the land came to be owned by your family.

Then learn about the management of the land prior to it coming into your possession.


  1. Where can woodlandowners learn about how the land came into their family? Historical societies? County tax records? Other resources?
  2. How can woodland owners learn about the management of the land prior to it coming into your possession? Would they look for filed Woodland Stewardship Plans? (Where would they find those? How may years back might they find filed plans? 1980s? 1990s?) What other sources could they use for finding out about the management of their land.

Step 2: Plan for the future of your woodlands

Now you are ready to think about the future of your woodlands. First, write down the current condition of your land, including what you enjoy most about your woodlands.

Then write down how you would like the land to be when you pass the land to your heirs. From this description, develop 3-5 goal statements which would help you get your woodlands to match your vision. Then for each goal, list the steps you need to do to achieve each goal.


  1. Can we provide some samples of things people typically want to do with their lands for passing it along to the next generation?
  2. Can we provide some samples of goal statements and steps to achieve the goals?
  3. What about people who plan to sell the land or give it to a charity? How would this step change?

Original: "Write down your thoughts on the current condition of the land, including what you enjoy most about you land. Then write down the condition of the land when it passes to your heirs; develop a series of goal statement(s) and step you will need to take to achieve your goals."

Step 2: Collect important data about your land

There are a number of simple data collection activities that you can do to learn more about your land.

Step 3: Develop the story of your woodland

Purchase a binder with tabs and start to build a record that tells the story of your land.

Section 1: Legal Records
Your first section should include all of the legal records regarding your ownership including deed, certified survey, aerial photo of your property etc.

Section 2: Management Plan and Data
The second section should record your resource inventory data and your management plan.

Section 3: Communications
The third section should record any and all communications with your forester and government agency staff related to the management of your land.

Section 4: Financial and Tax documentations
The final section should contain your financial and property tax records. The purchase or legal documents giving you possession of the land, any documentation regarding income or expenses related to the management of your lands