The Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) and the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) announced that ATFS certification universally recognizes Alabama’s Forest Stewardship Plan as meeting management planning requirements for family forest landowners.
“ATFS recognition of Forest Stewardship Plans will not only expedite the process for Alabama landowners interested in being Tree Farm certified, it will also allow landowners the opportunity for third-party certification, which is required for emerging markets such as biomass energy and carbon sequestration,” said Linda Casey, Alabama State Forester.
Bob Simpson, senior vice president of American Forest Foundation, the ATFS program’s parent organization, echoed these sentiments. “This recognition will open the door to many types of opportunities for Alabama family forest owners seeking affordable certification of their forest management.”
Previously, each individual Forest Stewardship Management plan still needed to be reviewed and evaluated for approval into the Tree Farm program. Today’s announcement provides programmatic level approval for landowners who are enrolled under the Alabama Forest Stewardship program.
The Forest Stewardship plan is designed to assist landowners who want to become more active in planning and managing their forests. The plan defines a landowner’s objectives and outlines an action plan to achieve their goals while maintaining and enhancing forest resources. Having a management plan greatly increases the likelihood that their forests will remain intact, productive, and healthy, and that the social, economic, and environmental benefits of these lands will be sustained for future generations.