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Green Timber’s Forest Stewardship Program
Upper Peninsula Business Today MARQUETTE - Green Timber Consulting
Foresters has been helping private forest landowners for 16 years through its Forest Stew- ardship Program, which helps landowners con- nect with professional foresters to develop vol- untary Forest Stewardship Plans.
For the past 26 years, the Michigan Depart- ment of Natural Resources and the Forest Stew- ardship Program have assisted landowners with managing, protecting and ultimately enjoying their forests.
Funded by the U.S. Forest Service, the pro- gram is celebrating its 26th anniversary this year. Unlike many other states, Michigan uses pri- vate-sector land managers - not government foresters - to write plans for its 400,000 private forest owners, said Mike Smalligan, DNR For- est Stewardship program manager, in a news
"More than 130 professional foresters and
wildlife biologists are trained and certified by the DNR to develop simple yet comprehensive For- est Stewardship Plans for landowners," Smalli- gan said.
According to the DNR website at www.michi-, participation in the program is vol- untary, and forest owners can obtain informa- tion and cost-share assistance throughout the year.
Landowners can find trained and certified FSP writers through the DNR website as well.
Since 1991, almost 5,000 landowners in Michigan have used an FSP to manage their forests.
According to the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts, 57 percent of the state's forested land base totaling about 11 million acres is owned by family forest owners.
The Pelkie-based Green Timber Consulting Foresters Inc., has been writing FSPs for landowners in the central and western Upper Peninsula since 2001.
Justin Miller, president of Green Timber, said in the last 16 years or so, Green Timber has helped 175 landowners develop their own unique Forest Stewardship Plans to help them manage more than 58,000 acres of forest land.
But the Forest Stewardship Plan isn't the only one administered by Green Timber. Similar management plans offered by Green Timber Consulting Foresters include a program through the Natural Resource Conservation Service, which may utilize funds from the fed- eral Farm Bill. Through this program, Green Timber has helped develop about 60 plans cov- ering 13,000 acres.
In addition to these two types of plans, Green Timber also helps landowners develop individ- ual plans as well. Green Timber has developed about 15 of these plans covering about 35,000 acres. This brings the Green Timber's total to about 250 forest management plans covering
about 106,000 acres of forest land in the U.P.quette County, it can take up to several months.
"The most important aspect of the plan is to determine what the landowner's goals and objectives are," Miller said.
The challenge, then is to develop the plan around those goals and objectives with manage- ment recommendations, he said.
Family forest owners often use their FSPs to obtain financial assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, enroll in a property tax program, prepare for a timber sale, improve wildlife habitat or join the American Tree Farm System to certify their sustainable for- est management.
One of these forest owners is Dead River Campers, Inc., which was created in the mid- 1990s to negotiate in the purchase of land around the Dead River Hoist Basin, which spans across Negaunee, Ishpeming and Cham- pion townships.
Almost 400 shareholders belong to DRCI, which protects 7,743 acres of forest and water in the basin. It also owns more than 8 miles of frontage along the Dead River and manages the forest land for wildlife habitat, forest products, clean water and regulated water levels for the Upper Peninsula Power Co. at the Hoist Dam.
"The Dead River Campers understand that they've got a dynamic forest resource and they're committed to sustainable management of that resource," Miller said.
Jim Grundstrom, president of the DRCI board, noted Green Timber manages about 2,700 acres of forest land and creates an inven- tory for the group, which sells timber when the market is appropriate.
"The timber plan goes out for a number of years into the future," said Grundstrom, who also pointed out Green Timber serves as "timber economists" for DRCI.
He said Green Timber gauges the maturity of the wood, and at the time of the sale makes bid proposals to logging companies on DRCI's behalf. DRCI then makes the final decision.
"The expertise of Green Timber also includes this understanding of the market ... maybe pine is more lucrative than maple," Grundstrom said.
Green Timber, he said, also acts as a consultant when an area has to be replanted and as an advis- er for applying for wildlife habitat grants.
The state and federal governments have opportunities for landowners, Grundstrom said, to attract more deer into the Upper Penin- sula.
In its 2015 third quarter newsletter, Dead River Campers News, it was noted in an update on forestry management that under the direc- tion of Green Timber, cutting of trees in Man- agement Unit 2, which is 40 acres near Silver Lake, began in September 2015.
Harju Logging was in charge of the select cut-
Outdoors timber 2: Rexx Janowiak, a forester with Green Timber Consulting Foresters, Inc., works with a landowner to manage a forest. The company, based in Pelkie, develops Forest Stewardship plans. (Photo courtesy of Green Timber Consulting Foresters, Inc.)
ting of the hardwood stand.
"We are well pleased with the way Green Tim-
ber is managing the cutting operation as Harju reported that this was the best marking of trees and property lines they have seen," wrote Bruce Bussone, a member of the DCRI board.
In October 2015, the cutting operation moved to Management Unit 1, an area near Clark Creek.
Bussone said the project turned out well, with
mostly jack pines clear cut in Management Unit 1 and hardwood harvested in Management Unit 2.
It's expected that red pine will make up the majority of tree species planted in the area to be reforested, he said.
Bussone said it was easy to work with Green Timber.
"They went through and kept on top of every- thing," Bussone said.

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