The Forest Stewardship Program is a voluntary program to help forestland owners learn how to improve and maintain the ecological health of their land.
You get to decide what you want to do on your land, and the Forest Stewardship Program links you with the people who can help you do it correctly! Since 1990, the program has been funded in all 50 states by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. In Pennsylvania, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry administers the program and provides technical assistance. Our state program is overseen by a Forest Stewardship steering committee composed of private landowners, professional resource managers, and representatives from conservancies, higher education, industry, and government.
One of the greatest benefits of becoming a Forest Steward is that you link into a network of invaluable information, knowledge, and assistance that comes to you through various publications, natural resource professionals, and fellow forestland owners.
The first step in becoming a Forest Steward is to develop a plan for the future of your land. Developing a plan with the assistance of a Bureau of Forestry service forester and at least one Forest Stewardship trained natural resource professional will help you learn more about the many resources already on your land and how you can maintain and improve them. You can learn how to manage for wildlife, recreation, aesthetics, timber production, or whatever objectives help you realize your long-range hopes and dreams for your land.
Your Forest Stewardship Plan is YOUR plan for YOUR land. Only you can decide what activities should be carried out in your forest.
Woods in Your Backyard: Learning to Create and Enhance Natural Areas around Your Home – a great publication for homeowners in the woods
Attaining Sustainable Forests on Private Land a webbased course for landowners