Once a property has met the qualifications for becoming a tree farm there are several things one can do next. Here are a few to get started.
The first thing someone can do is display their Tree Farm sign and talk to others about being a tree farmer. Tree Farm signs should be displayed in a visible place, preferably on a post. Many place them on barns, but we do discourage signs nailed to trees. The Tree Farm sign gives a brief introduction to passersby on what the program does and what you are doing with your property. It is visible symbol of pride in stewardship and sustainable woodland management.
Displaying the sign may lead to discussions with others about the Tree Farm program. You can talk to others about your own tree farm or the program in general. Talk about why you joined, what tenants of the program you seek to promote on your farm, and what goals you have for your land. If asked about the program at large talk about how the mission of the Tree Farm program is to promote thoughtful stewardship of Vermont’s privately-owned forests. The program offers educational opportunities on woodland management, and advocacy & representation on forest issues.
Sign up to receive forest related literature. American Forest Foundation’s Woodlands magazine is a great resource to stay up to date on what is happening in the world of woodlands. On a local level, joining Vermont Woodlands Association (VWA) is a great way to support Tree Farm. Along with VWA’s advocacy for private landowners, they provide educational opportunities on forestry, both practical and political. VWA supports programs like Walk in the Woods, Women Owning Woodlands, and Woods, Wildlife and Warblers. Along with your VWA membership, you receive an annual subscription to Northern Woodlands magazine. Focusing on northeastern forests seeks to “advance a culture of forest stewardship in the Northeast and to increase understanding of and appreciation for the natural wonders, economic productivity, and ecological integrity of the region’s forests.”
Another step is to join the American Forest Foundation’s new virtual community called The Family Forest. The Family Forest is an online space dedicated to those who own and/or care about family forest land so that they can connected and share with one another. The space is
open to landowners, foresters, educators, and more. Through connection, education, and encouragement landowners of all kind can reach their management goals. To join this community check out their website here: https://community.forestfoundation.org/network-groups.
Tune in next month for more steps to take.