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It’s the least you can do. It’s the most you can do.

But it’s really more than that. 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 for landowners who see their woodlands as more than timber awaiting harvest. They see them as tracts of natural beauty, full of life… and they choose to manage them for the well being and enjoyment of future generations.

The SC Forest Stewardship program is now paying consultants and wildlife biologists for Forest Stewardship plans

Landowners can now join the Forest Stewardship program (FSP) with minimal costs in a timely manner and be provided professional forest and wildlife management advice from approved consulting foresters and wildlife biologists. Eligible landowners must have at least 50 forested acres, and their parcel(s) must also be considered a Forest Stewardship Priority Parcel (parcels with >30% FSP priority pixels).  FSP will pay up to two authors per plan, providing direct payment to each author.  Payments per plan can vary from $1,000 up to $4,950.

Funds are limited, so apply today! If your parcel(s) doesn’t qualify for plan reimbursement, but is at least 10 acres, you can still have a Forest Stewardship plan written by a SC Forestry Commission forester at no charge.  Landowners with Forest Stewardship plans also qualify for a free, one-year membership to SC Tree Farm. For more information, please visit the links below or contact your regional Stewardship Forester.

The SC Forest Stewardship program is seeking wildlife biologists to help write Forest Stewardship plans

If you are a wildlife biologist and are interested in helping write Forest Stewardship plans, please contact the Program Coordinator Chisolm Beckham to be placed on our list.  Depending on your involvement, you can be paid anywhere from $650 to $3,000 per plan.

FSP Parcel Viewer
FSP Priority Parcel Report (example)
SCFC Consulting Forester List
IRS’ W-9
Forest Stewardship Application  
FSP Plan Template
Regional Stewardship Foresters
One-year Free Membership to SC Tree Farm
SC Tree Farm
SC Landscape Plan

Stewardship from seed to seed

The South Carolina Forest Stewardship Program recognizes the economic value of active forest management. The forest products industry is the largest manufacturing industry in South Carolina, generating a $23 billion+ impact on the Palmetto State’s economy annually.
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.

Apply now!

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. The first step is to contact the South Carolina Forestry Commission. We’ll help you put together a multiple-resource Forest Stewardship Management Plan.

Apply now for a FREE Forest Stewardship Management Plan!

Eligibility and Benefits

Any landowner who owns at least 10 acres of forestland can qualify. Eligible landowners will be provided comprehensive management plans on a 10-year horizon. These plans are based on landowners’ objectives and will provide detailed recommendations for timber management activities that are designed to help prevent soil erosion and protect water quality, or may also provide optional details on wildlife habitat improvement, recreational opportunities and ways to enhance the natural beauty of the forest.

Timber valuations and timber (cost) basis

Although not a requirement of the Forest Stewardship Program, if having your Forest stewardship plan written by a consulting forester, it is a good idea to have the same forester give stand valuations, which is generally referred to as a “timber cruise.”  The current values can then be used to estimate revenues from planned timber sales and used to estimate stand values that were in existence when you came in possession of the property, which can then be used to determine your timber basis whether you inherited, purchased, were gifted, or exchanged the timberland.  Landowners are only responsible of paying taxes on net timber revenues (gross timber revenue minus timber basis), and these gains are considered capital gains if the assets had been held for a year or longer.  Click here to learn more about timber basis and depletion rate and allowance if doing a partial harvest (thinning).

Certified Forest Steward

With proven diligence, you may also be awarded a renewable, five-year Stewardship Forest Certification, a sign to distinguish your land as a Stewardship Forest, and a SC Tree ID Book- Forest Trees of South Carolina.
Nominate someone today: Forest Stewardship Nomination Form (pdf)

Common landscape and landowner objectives

A Landscape Management Plan was written for the whole state of SC and emphasized common landscape and landowner objectives and how they apply to SC’s level III ecoregions and forest types and provides steps that individual landowners can take to achieve those objectives.  To review the plan and those common objectives please follow this link: LMP for South Carolina.  

SC Tree Farm Committee

Once you receive your Forest Stewardship Management Plan, you are eligible to join SC’s Tree Farm Program. Incentives to join are based on current certification status. Certified tree farms receiving an FSM Plan are eligible for a free one-year membership to SC’s Tree Farm, and non-certified tree farms receiving an FSM Plan (or equivalent) might be eligible for 5 years of free membership. For each initial Tree Farm Certification, inspectors can receive incentive payments from $200 up to $500.  Learn more about SC Tree Farm here.