Introduction

Good decisions require good information. An inventory of the woodland resources on your property is an important first step in developing a stewardship plan. Information gathered from the inventory provides you with a snapshot of the current condition and future potential of your woodlands.

Because woodlands are often viewed as a source of timber, a woodland inventory usually focuses on assessing trees as potential wood products. However, a woodland inventory is equally valuable for assessing wildlife habitat, planning trails for recreation, and understanding the quality of your soil and water resources. An inventory of your woodland should focus on what is most important to you and provide you with the information you need to make good decisions about the management of your land.

Your first step in conducting a woodland inventory should be to contract with a forestry professional to perform an inventory of your woodland. Since an inventory involves some time and expense, your forester must know your goals for the property and what resources are most important to you. A woodland inventory may include these and other features:

After analyzing this information, your forester will offer management alternatives for each stand. Knowing what is physically possible and financially realistic, you can select the management strategies that best meet your goals and resources.