Rensselaer Plateau Working Forest Initiative
Forests provide many benefits such as abundant clean water, habitat for wildlife, local forest products, and opportunities for sporting and recreation. The Rensselaer Plateau Working Forest Initiative provides support to landowners who want to manage or conserve their forests and woodlands. The goal is to increase access to technical and financial assistance that supports landowners and their property rights.
Landowners have different goals and needs when it comes to managing their land. Conservation easements are an option for some. Others might benefit from the additional income that forest management can provide. Still others may just want some information without any formal commitments. With that in mind, the project has two components: land conservation and landowner education.
The land conservation component will support landowners that want to protect their woodlands from future development through voluntary conservation agreements. If you are interested in donating or selling the development rights on your land please contact us or one of our partners. In 2010, the US Forest Service designated the Rensselaer Plateau as a Forest Legacy Area. The Forest Legacy Program provides an opportunity to permanently conserve forest lands with conservation easements that maintain the traditional uses of the land while conserving it forever.
The educational component will help landowners better understand their forests and their options for stewardship. The Working Forest Initiative will focus on educating landowners via (1) woods forums, facilitated workshops in which landowners learn from one another with the guidance of experts, (2) workshops that focus on land stewardship and succession planning, and (3) factsheets, handbooks, and online resources for landowners.