Private Forest Management
Our new Benefit Your Land With A Plan booklet offers exciting insights into what you can do to care for your forest. Check it out today!
Today, 61% of New York's land area is covered with almost 19 million acres of forest land, and 74% of those forests are owned by more than 700,000 private landowners. These private forest lands provide many public benefits including clean air and water, carbon storage, forest products, jobs, scenic beauty, and outdoor recreation opportunities.
DEC's Division of Lands and Forests recognizes that private forest lands are an important component of New York's economy and character and we're here to help keep it that way. DEC provides a variety of programs including free site visits to help support sustainable forest management.
Support for Private Forest Owners
- Forest Stewardship Program (Info on Free Site Visits)
- Find a Cooperating Forester
- The Benefits of Stewardship Planning
- 480-a Forest Tax Law
- Financial Assistance for Landowners
- Timber Harvesting
- Preventing Timber Theft
- Municipal Official's Guide to Forestry in New York State
- Guidance on Protecting Northern Long-Eared Bats When Engaging in Forestry Practices
- Conservation Easement Tax Credit
All private, non-industrial, forest landowners who are looking for introductory management and technical advice are eligible for a free visit with a DEC forester. Often a visit is a landowner's first step towards getting professional guidance for their property. A DEC forester can accompany you on a tour of your woodland and outline management opportunities that can help you meet your goals as a landowner.
How to get started - Contact your local DEC forester and make an appointment to meet and discuss your goals for your woodland.
When to Call a DEC Forester
DEC foresters are here to help. Reach out to a DEC forester:
- When you need help getting financial assistance for your land.
- If you're just getting started managing your forest.
- If you need help understanding what's on your land.
- For guidance on planning out landownership goals.
- To get helpful advice along the way.
When to Use a Private Consulting Forester
For additional services that DEC foresters don't provide such as timber sale administration, forest stand improvement, forest tax law plans, appraisals, and more, one of our cooperating foresters can help. Additional information and a list of participating private foresters can be found on the Find a Cooperating Forester webpage.
The Benefits of Stewardship Planning
Our Benefit Your Land With a Plan booklet (PDF) can offer you insight into the many benefits that your land can offer. The guide also offers guidance on finding a forester who can help you establish a stewardship plan for your forest. Stewardship plans are documents that can guide the actions you need to take in order to maintain a healthy forest for yourself and future generations to enjoy.
A Municipal Official's Guide to Forestry in New York State (PDF) is a publication that highlights the value of our forests, identifies some of the greatest threats to forestry and encourages municipalities to promote forestry and forest stewardship.