Education

Buncombe County Ranger can help you manage your forest

Staff Report

BLACK MOUNTAIN – The N.C. Forest Service Buncombe County Ranger’s Office can assist you in planting your next forest and develop a plan for managing it as a long-term investment.

The NC Forest Service can provide a Forest Management Plan that outlines a landowner’s property objectives and give guidance and expertise on how to meet those objectives. There is financial assistance available for landowners interested in starting or improving a forest through state and federal cost-share programs. A forest management plan may also qualify a landowner for a reduction in taxes under the present use value program. Depending on what type of plan the landowner needs, they can either be of no charge or $5 per acre. Landowners should speak with the ranger’s office for more details on these programs and other means of realizing additional income. Costs for reforestation vary depending on site conditions after timber harvest, the terrain, geographical location and size of the area. In most cases, site-preparation and reforestation activities are available at a cost from the N.C. Forest Service.

“It’s important that landowners work with a forest management professional to get the maximum benefit from their property,” said Dillion Michael, Buncombe County ranger. “The N.C. Forest Service can help you develop a long-range, flexible forest management plan because today’s decisions can have long-term impacts and benefits. We can also help plant tree seedlings to re-establish a forest.”

Establishing your next stand of trees or forestland, also known as reforestation, provides opportunities that may include future income from timber harvests and non-timber practices, improved and diverse wildlife habitat, and much more. The county ranger can also assist with converting fallow fields to forest, also known as afforestation.

The N.C. Forest Service also has more than 50 different species of pine and hardwood seedlings available for purchase with local distribution centers across the state. To check availability of seedlings, call 1-888-NCTREES (1-888-628-7337) or visit the North Carolina Seedling Store at http://nc-forestry.stores.yahoo.net/

Contact your Buncombe County Ranger’s Office at 828-686-5885 or robert.michael@ncagr.gov for more information about the many ways the N.C. Forest Service can be of assistance. Information is also available at http://ncforestservice.gov.

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