Forest Service - Private Lands Management Program
DEP- DIVISION: Parks and Forestry
GENERAL PHONE NUMBER: (609) 292-2531
FAX NUMBER: (609) 984-0378
The Private Lands Management Program fosters and ensures wise stewardship and management on 1.54 million acres of forest lands owned by 88,700 private landowners, and the retention of these lands in contiguous and productive forests. This program administers the stewardship, rural forestry assistance, woodland assessment, wetlands and consultant forester projects of the state Forest Service.
The stewardship and rural forestry assistance projects are designed to provide professional forestry assistance to private landowners utilizing a minimum of public resources by forming partnerships with private consulting foresters. The Forest Service limits its assistance to a single visit for the purposes of motivating landowners to practice forest stewardship, explaining cost share assistance and encouraging private landowners to seek private professional forestry assistance.
A critical component of this program is the administration of the rule and regulations pertaining to farmland/woodland assessment. This requires the review of approximately 4,000 applications and field inspections of a portion of these annually. This program also administers N.J.A.C. 7:3-2, which deals with establishing and maintaining a list of foresters approved by the department for the purpose of annually attesting to compliance with the woodland management plan required by N.J.A.C. 54:4-23.3 (Woodland Assessment).
The management and stewardship of privately owned forests is encouraged through various Forest Service administrative programs, the Forest Stewardship Program, the Forest Land Enhancement Program and Forest Resource Management, which are designed to provide technical and cost share assistance. Additionally, this program administers portions of the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act (N.J.S.A. 13:913-1 et seq.) which exempts certain forestry activities when included in a plan approved by the State Forester.
MONETARY ASSISTANCE PROVIDED:
The Forest Stewardship Program - The Forest Stewardship Program is a federally funded forest management program designed by the US Forest Service and National Association of State Foresters. The program is intended to encourage management of private forestland for non-commodity benefits, such as wildlife, recreation, aesthetics and water quality, as well as traditional commodities like timber and wood products. Forest Stewardship promotes long-term active management while emphasizing consideration of all the forest resources and benefits. Among the benefits of participating in this program are the availability of both technical and financial management assistance and environmentally responsible management of the state's forest resources. Other advantages include active involvement in forest management and public recognition as a steward of the land and the personal satisfaction of managing forest resources for present and future generations.
Forest Land Enhancement Program - Funding through this cost-share program is intended as an incentive to encourage private landowners to be active land stewards and actively manage their woodlands for a wide variety of objectives, such as forest stewardship plan development, site preparation, tree planting and tree shelters, forest stand improvement and wildlife habitat enhancement. Technical assistance is available through Forest Service, Division of Fish and Wildlife, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (www.nrcs.usda.gov, phone (202) 720-7246) , US Fish and Wildlife Service (www.fws.gov, phone 1-800-344-WILD) and professional management consultants.
New Jersey Tree Farm Program - This is a nonprofit organization working under the umbrella of the American Tree Farm System. The New Jersey Tree Farm Program helps promote sustainable management of forests through outreach, education and recognition. Qualified inspectors provide advice and ground inspections for certification. The Forest Fire Service is a co-sponsor offering administrative assistance and database management.