UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION

Landowner Assistance Programs

USDA Forest Service, Forest Stewardship Program

Background

The Forest Stewardship Program provides technical assistance, through the USDA Forest Service and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, to non-industrial private forest owners to encourage and enable active long-term forest management. The primary focus of the program is the development of comprehensive, multi-resource management plans that provide landowners with the information they need to manage their forests for a variety of products and services. The Forest Stewardship Program is a voluntary program administered by the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forest Resources.

Eligibility

This program is available to non-industrial private forest owners. A landowner must own a minimum of five acres; however, all forestland on the property must be enrolled. A certified forest stewardship plan and a ten-year program commitment are required. Additional eligibility and program requirements apply.

Contact

Professional Consulting Forester or local DNR Forester.

Illinois Forestry Development Act (FDA)

Background

The Illinois Forestry Development Act provides technical assistance, financial incentives via cost-share, free seedlings, and guaranteed tax assessments to eligible timber growers to encourage the tending, planting, and protection of Illinois forest resources. The Forestry Development Act is a voluntary program administered by the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forest Resources.

Eligibility

Participation in FDA is limited to landowners (timber growers) who own or operate at least five contiguous acres of land that is systematically managed for the production of timber. Non-forested areas are eligible as long as the land is capable of producing timber. All forestland located on a property must be enrolled. An FDA approved forest management plan and a ten-year program commitment are required. Additional eligibility and program requirements apply.

Contact

Professional Consulting Forester or local DNR Forester.

USDA Forest Service, Forest Land Enhancement Program

Background

The Forest Land Enhancement Program, as part of the 2002 Farm Bill, is a voluntary conservation program for non-industrial private forest (NIPF) landowners. It provides for technical, educational, and cost-share assistance to promote sustainability of the private forests. Illinois FLEP is a voluntary conservation program.

Eligibility

This program is limited to non-industrial private forest owners; corporations whose stock is publicly traded or owners principally engaged in the processing of wood products are not eligible. To enroll, a landowner must own a minimum of ten acres. A certified forest management plan and a signed ten-year program commitment are required. Additional eligibility and program requirements apply.

Contact

Professional Consulting Forester or local DNR Forester.

USDA Conservation Programs (CRP, CREP, EQIP, WHIP)

Background

USDA Farm Bill programs provide financial and technical assistance to promote the conservation and improvement of air, soil, water, plant, and animal life on private working lands. Common conservation practices include windbreaks, filter strips, riparian forest buffers, wetlands, native grass plantings, and contour strips, along with many other environmental practices. USDA conservation programs are strictly voluntary.

Eligibility

This program is limited to landowners/producers who own or operate eligible agricultural property. Qualifying acreage is determined by your local USDA Service Center. A certified conservation plan and a variable ten to fifteen year contract commitment are required. Additional eligibility and program requirements apply.

Contact

County USDA Service Center.

American Tree Farm System (IL Tree Farm)

Background

The American Tree Farm System® (ATFS), a program of the American Forest Foundation, is committed to sustaining forests, watersheds, and healthy habitats through the power of private stewardship. Tree Farmers share a unique commitment to protect wildlife habitat and watersheds, to conserve soil, and to provide recreation for their communities while producing wood for America. These individuals hold the key to the kinds of forests, forest activities, and forest resources future generations of Americans will enjoy. There are over 1,100 Certified Tree Farms in Illinois.

Eligibility

ATFS has established standards and guidelines for property owners to meet in order to become a certified Tree Farm. Under these standards and guidelines, private forest owners must develop a management plan based on strict environmental standards and pass an inspection by an ATFS volunteer forester every five years. Landowner must own a minimum of ten acres for enrollment. The American Tree Farm is a voluntary, landowner-based program.

Contact

Professional Consulting Forester or local DNR Forester.

 

 

U of I ACES U of I Extension