by Alton Perry, SFLRP Program Manager
On behalf of my colleagues with the Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project, I first would like to pass along our hopes and wishes that you and your family members are staying safe and healthy as we all cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it is forcing in our daily routines and behaviors.
It is important for our region’s forest landowners to know that there are several activities that you still CAN undertake to help ensure that the goals you have for your family, your land and its habitats can and will be realized over time.
Here’s a short-list of activities that we encourage you to follow – all quite safely – during this period of social distancing:
Make a family tree if you haven’t done so already. This is an essential first step for effective estate planning.
With warmer weather moving in, take advantage of the opportunity to walk your property and take photos and/or short videos of key features as you do so. For example, it is desirable to have a visual record of creek or pond levels that can serve as a baseline to compare against during other seasons of the year. Similarly, are there specific large, old trees or a stand of trees that you can document? Do you want to create a footpath to reach certain spots on your property?
Review your original objectives for your land and ask yourself whether they have changed. SFLRP staff members still are available to discuss your goals and/or put you in touch with experts at our agency partners who can assist you. Regardless of agency recommended, please contact by phone to see if they are making visits or not during this pandemic.
Review your forest management plan; if you don’t have one, reach out to a forestry professional. Again, the SFLRP staff can assist you and/or introduce you to experts with our agency partners.
Take the opportunity to better educate yourself on assistance that may be available in the form of technical expertise and/or cost-share funding. While the pandemic is forcing changes in the way folks do things, significant program support for forest landowners remains in place.
The bottom line is: stay encouraged and know that there still are many actions you can take to advance the goals you have for your property and your family’s well-being. You can contact the Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project at 252-539-4614; you also can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.