A variety of other programs offer benefits to forest landowners for sustainably managing their land, including tax relief, financial assistance, forest products certification, and access to ecosystem services markets. You may use your CWF Forest Stewardship Plan for enrollment in these programs if you meet the eligibility requirements and your forester is able to incorporate the other programs’ requirements into your plan. Please note that these programs have slightly different eligibility requirements from CWF. It is your responsibility to determine your eligibility and to communicate your interest in other programs with your plan writer.
Property Tax Relief
CWF encourages all forest landowners to enroll in your state’s preferential property tax assessment program. These programs (New Jersey Farmland Assessment, New York 480a, Pennsylvania Clean and Green) offer forest and farm owners tax relief by taxing their land based on its current use value rather than its fair market value. New Jersey and New York require that you have a written management plan for the enrolled property. To learn more about the requirements and benefits of these programs, click here.
USDA NRCS Cost-share Programs
In most cases, approved Forest Stewardship Plans can be used to satisfy various USDA Conservation Program requirements in order to receive cost-share assistance for implementation of management practices.
Other Forest Certification and Management Programs Working Woodlands
Interested landowners with forested properties of at least 250 acres may be eligible for enrollment in The Nature Conservancy’s Working Woodlands program. The Common Waters Fund is cooperating with The Nature Conservancy to accommodate landowners that enroll in both programs, so plan and inventory costs may be covered through CWF. Visit the Working Woodlands program website for more information, and contact your County Coordinator early in the process if you are interested in exploring this option.
Other programs of interest to forest landowners include American Tree Farm and Forest Stewardship Council certification programs. The CWF County Coordinator or your forester may be able to provide you with basic information on these programs, but we encourage you to contact these organizations directly if you wish to learn more or enroll.