About Management Planning
Why have a management plan?
Oregon forest landowners are currently faced with the need to have a written forest management plan for an increasing number reasons, including tax and business needs, cost-share programs, land use actions, markets for ecosystem services, and forest certification.
While these are all important reasons to have a management plan, the most important reason to develop a management plan is so you – the landowner – can learn about your forest and develop or refine a course of action, given how it looks today and how you want it to look in the future. A plan is also a good way to let your heirs or others who follow you know your vision for the future of your forest and the steps you have taken to achieve that vision.
While you may not realize it at first, taking the step to learn about your forest and deciding what you want to do with it through a management plan is taking a step toward ensuring that your forest will be managed sustainably, such that its many resources are available for many generations to come.
Who should write your management plan?
A management plan can be developed by one or several people. There is no single answer to who best should take the lead in developing a plan, but there are a few matters to consider. Since much is learned about the forest through the management planning process, there is value in having whoever is involved in the day-to-day management of your forest also serving as the plan developer. This could be you - the landowner - or a professional forester, biologist or other professional natural resource specialist. It could also be a mentor - a friend, relative, or neighbor with the skill and energy to engage you in the planning process and link you with the necessary sources of natural resources expertise. Sometimes you can be the lead author; or you may wish to be the reviewer. Regardless of who writes the plan, it must be your plan in the end.