AHOSKIE, N.C.—Forest landowners in northeastern North Carolina may be eligible to receive as much as $1,000 to develop forest management plans that can help increase their land’s value and improve its forest and wildlife habitats. The financial assistance is available through The Roanoke Center’s Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project (SFLRP) for eligible landowners in Bertie, Chowan, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Northampton, and Perquimans counties.
The SFLRP program has funds available on a first-come, first-served basis until the allotted funds are depleted. As of mid-March, sufficient funds are available to assist an estimated 15-20 landowners.
“Having a plan is very important,” SFLRP Program Manager Alton Perry said. “Whether you are taking a road trip or building a structure, the plan provides you instructions or guidance to reach your goal of arriving at your destination or building the structure you need. Forest management plans works the same way whether you own eight acres or 100 acres.
“A forest management plan provides landowners guidance and recommendations to reach their objectives of selling timber, improving wildlife habitat, planting trees after a clear-cut harvest or meeting certification standards in the tree farm program. Landowners without forest management plans run the risk of taking a wrong turn, therefore missing opportunities both to reach their goals and access technical assistance.”
Maintaining a detailed forest management plan is a requirement for landowners applying for financial assistance to implement forestry practices or enter into the North Carolina Tree Farm Program. To be eligible for this SFLRP funding, a landowner must:
- own at least one contiguous, wooded eight-acre property in Bertie, Chowan, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Northampton or Perquimans counties;
- be or become a Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project participant; and
- use awarded funds to pay the North Carolina Forest Service or a private consulting forester to develop a forest management plan and the enrollment fee for forest certification into the N.C. Tree Farm Program.
For landowners who wish to enroll in the N.C. Tree Farm Program, funds are available to assist with the $350 enrollment fee. The property must contain a minimum of 10 wooded acres and meet other N.C. Tree Farm Program guidelines.
SFLRP is operated through Roanoke Electric Cooperative’s nonprofit subsidiary, The Roanoke Center. The center offers a range of education, application and financial assistance to forest landowners throughout the co-op’s seven-county service territory. SFLRP makes this funding available to local forest landowners through funding from Enviva Holdings LP. Enviva awarded funds to the SFLRP to assist its land retention and healthy forests conservation efforts.