It's the Least You Can Do, It's the Most You Can Do.
At its very least, South Carolina's Forest Stewardship Program is about woodlands. The people who own them. And future generations.
But it's really more.
Stewardship is an attitude. A responsibility.
It's private landowners who feel the least they can do is to put more back into the environment than they take from it.
In its most active form, forest stewardship is landowners who see their woodlands as more than timber awaiting harvest. They see them as tracts of natural beauty, full of life - and choose to manage them for the well-being and enjoyment of future generations.
Stewardship From Seed To Seed
The South Carolina Forest Stewardship Program recognizes the monetary value of woodlands. The timber industry is the third largest manufacturing industry in South Carolina, providing 4.3 billion dollars to our economy annually. But, there's more to the woodlands than the trees.
Between timber harvests, there are the added benefits of forest stewardship. Proper management helps provide diversified wildlife habitats, family recreation, improved soil and water quality, as well as the natural beauty of spring flowers and autumn leaves.
With two-thirds of the state's forestlands under private ownership, it's imperative that these landowners take an active role in managing their forests from seed to saw to seed. From generation to generation.
But without assistance, this can be costly.
South Carolina's Forest Stewardship program is designed to assist private landowners who want to do the most they can for future generations: become forest stewards.
Any landowner who owns at least ten acres of forestland can qualify. The first step is to contact a natural resource professional, or call the South Carolina Forestry Commission. We'll help you put together a multiple-resource Stewardship Management Plan (SMP).
This plan will provide detailed recommendations for timber management activities that are designed to help prevent soil erosion and protect water quality. it may also provide optional details on wildlife habitat improvement, recreational opportunities and ways to enhance the natural beauty of the forest.
With proven diligence, you may also be awarded a renewable, five-year Stewardship Forest Certification and a sign to distinguish your land as a Stewardship Forest.
If you're interested in making the most out of your woodlands, both now and in the future, the South Carolina Forest Stewardship Program can help.
Contact Your Forestry Commission Stewardship Forester for additional program information.
Stewardship Management Plans can be written by a SC Forestry Commission Forester or by a Consultant Forester registered in SC (pdf).
For a free Forest Stewardship management plan complete this application (pdf).
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