How do you enroll a new tree farm? First, ask yourself these simple questions:
- Does the landowner have 10 or more contiguous acres of forested land?
- Does the landowner wish to enroll in Tree Farm and manage to its higher standard?
If you answer yes to both, then:
- Ensure that the management plan meets the 2015-2020 Standards. You may need to complete an addendum or update the plan with required information. (See additional items required to enroll in tree farm and/or management plan addendum.) Since the 2015-2020 Standards roll-out, the US Fish & Wildlife Service has included the Northern long-eared bat on the T&E list. We have developed a paragraph that addresses the NLB as a threatened and endangered species as well as Forests of Recognized Importance. You may download this document and append it to a management plan for compliance to the standard. We also have a landowner objectives checklist that you may download and use as an attachment to the management plan.
- Visit the property to verify that activity on the ground matches activity specified in the plan.
- Complete an initial inspection 004 using the writable pdf and submit via email to email@example.com. Remember that original handwritten signatures are no longer required; typed-in signatures are preferred for ease of processing.
The Vermont tree farm administrator will assign a tree farm number, assign the inspection to you, set up the landowners and property in the national database, and submit the 004. Once the 004 has been submitted and accepted, the landowner will receive a welcome letter and copy of the inspection report via mail. You will also receive a copy for your files.
Is your landowner Transitioning From Use Value to Tree Farm & NRCS?
Many Use Value Appraisal management plans already meet Tree Farm and NRCS plan standards. See Additional items for Tree Farm and NRCS cost share eligible plans for properties already enrolled in UVA
Inspecting to the 2015-2020 Standards: To be qualified to inspect to the 2015-2020 ATFS Standards, all ATFS Inspecting Foresters must initially update their credentials to the 2015-2020 Standards via classroom training. Following training, an inspector’s status will remain active for two years, during which time a forester must either complete an inspection or take the online refresher, to remain active for another two years. If neither action is completed within two years, the inspector status will change to inactive and he or she must attend a classroom training again to be returned to active status.
TBD – Check back for details!
The ATFS database has been updated to track inspector actions and will send automatic email messages reminding you when your active status will expire. This should alert you to the need to either complete an inspection or take the online referesher. If you do not intend to provide Tree Farm services, then we suggest you not renew your Tree Farm forester certification.
The online refresher is available 24/7 at www.atfsdatabase.org for those wishing to take this training. If you do not know your log in credentials, please email Nephtali Chavez or Kathleen at the Vermont office.
Tree Farm foresters are required to complete at least one action every two years and we will be monitoring actions more closely in order to conform. If you do not intend to provide Tree Farm services, then we suggest you not renew your Tree Farm forester certification.
New Inspections: After March 15, all new landowners and properties entering the ATFS program must be inspected to the 2015-2020 Standards utilizing the revised Tree Farm Inspection Record (004 form) form or app.
Required Sample Inspections: All 2015 Required Sample inspections must be inspected to the 2015-2020 Standards utilizing the revised Tree Farm Inspection Record (004) form or app.
Reinspections: After March 15, 2015, all re-inspections of landowners and properties currently certified in the ATFS program must be inspected to the 2015-2020 Standards utilizing the revised Tree Farm Inspection Record (004) form or app.
Check out the 2015 ATFS Management Plan Addendum! ATFS developed this Addendum as an easy to use resource to help you ensure that your management plan reflects the goals you have for your land, assesses the current health of your woods and aligns your plan with the Standards.
The addendum is also a great tool to highlight your commitment to good forestry and provides additional resources to ensure that you have considered all the important elements that go into sustainable forestry including:
- Forest Health
- Soil and Water
- Proper Use of Pesticides
- Prescribed Burning
- Forests of Recognized Importance
- Special Sites
Submitting a new 004 with new 2015-2020 ATFS Standards of Sustainability:
Inspection Form Options:
It has the capability of being printed as hardcopy for handwritten submissions or have information entered electronically for easy emailing and uploading into the ATFS Database. The process using this form in hard copy and as a writable PDF remains the same. If uploading is desired, after completion of the form, it will be done by the database entry person at the end of the approvals process.
- *Your Electronic signature is fine. No need to print, sign, and scan- save us time and e-sign!
- Directions for Completing the 004 Tree Farm Inspection Record
*The ATFS Inspection App is in development and will be available soon. Inspectors can contact Nephtali Chavez at firstname.lastname@example.org to get their log-in information and assistance with the app.
Still have questions as an Inspector? Be sure to visit the American Tree Farm System’s Inspector’s Corner page, which includes Inspector FAQs, webinars, and other helpful resources.
Nominate a Vermont Tree Farmer of the Year! Applications due by 10/1 yearly for the following year.