Forest Management

Jump to: Forest Ag | Tree Farming | Forest Stewardship Program | Forest Legacy Program

Forest Ag

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To be eligible for the Forest Ag Program, properties must meet several criteria:

  1. The landowner must perform forest management activities to produce tangible wood products for the primary purpose of obtaining a monetary profit. Tangible wood products include transplants, Christmas trees and boughs, sawlogs, posts, poles and firewood.
  2. The landowner must have at least 40 forested acres.
  3. The landowner must submit a Colorado State Forest Service-approved forest management plan that is prepared by a professional forester or natural resources professional.
  4. Landowners must annually submit (1) a request for inspection, (2) an inspection fee, (3) an accomplishment report, and (4) an annual work plan for the following year, and have the enrolled property inspected by a CSFS forester.

Learn more about this program in the Colorado State Forest Ag Brochure (251 KB PDF)

Tree Farming

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A tree farm is a tract of privately owned land that is voluntarily dedicated by its owner to the growing of renewable resources, while protecting environmental benefits and increasing public understanding of sustainable forestry. The Colorado Tree Farm Program is part of the American Tree Farm System, which is a program of the American Forest Foundation in Washington D.C. The ATFS is a privately funded, national tree growing effort encouraging forest management on private lands. Other forest certification organizations exist, but the American Tree Farm System is the oldest and largest forest certification program in the US. As part of the Colorado Tree Farm Program, the Colorado Tree Farm Committee makes arrangements for professional foresters to inspect and certify Tree Farms. The purpose of these FREE inspections is to provide “on the ground” advice to landowners and to help them meet the goals and objectives of their property. After the initial inspection and certification, Tree Farms are reinspectedevery five years. These reinspections provide an opportunity for further forestry assistance and help ensure that certified Tree Farm properties maintain quality standards for continued membership.


To qualify for Tree Farm Certification, your woodland must:

• be 10 acres or larger in size.

• have a written and implemented plan that addresses your objectives.

• be managed for the sustainable production of forest products, while

• recognizing the importance of water, wildlife, and recreational opportunities.


• Receive the national designation that tells the public that you are a forest manager and a concerned conservationist.

• Membership in a network of professionals and fellow landowners who share your commitment to sound forestry.

• Insure that your forest remains a sustainable resource for future generations.

• Receive a free Tree Farm sign for your property.

• Invitations to seminars, field days, and workshops that can help you learn how best to achieve the goals you’ve set for your land.

• Share experiences and knowledge with other forest landowners.

• One-year free subscription to the Tree Farmer Magazine

• No fees or membership dues.


Forest Stewardship:

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What is Forest Stewardship?

Approximately six million acres of private forest land exists in Colorado. Like all natural resources, forests require proper management to be healthy and productive. By managing your forest you can protect water quality, increase habitat diversity for wildlife, and increase the growth rate of your trees.

Who can be a Forest Steward?

The Forest Stewardship Program focuses on landowners in important resource areas, including plains and prairies, where good planning and management will enhance and sustain the long-term productivity of multiple forest resources. The program provides landowners with the planning and technical assistance they need to maintain productive and healthy forest conditions. The Program also recognizes landowners who apply stewardship to their forested lands. Landowners with a Forest Stewardship plan may also be eligible for financial assistance if available.

How can I become a Forest Steward?

In addition, properly managed forests can provide income, reduce the risk of wildland fire, help protect trees against insects and diseases, and even increase the value of your property. The Forest Stewardship Program can provide you with information, education and technical assistance. This program encourages long-term stewardship of private forest lands. It is designed to assist landowners to more actively manage their forest and related resources. If you are a landowner who wishes to manage forest vegetation and associated resources for stewardship, you are eligible. First, you will work with a professional forester to identify your goals and objectives for your property. Your forester can then help you develop a Forest Stewardship Management Plan. The plan will enhance your knowledge of your property and assist you in making informed decisions to sustain a healthier, more productive forest

To find out how you can participate in the Forest Stewardship Program please contact your local Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) District Office or log onto the CSFS website:


Forest Legacy Program

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Continued development within and adjacent to Colorado’s forested areas poses an increasing threat to the integrity of our state’s valuable forest lands.

Intact forest lands supply timber products, improve wildlife habitat, increase soil and watershed protection, enhance aesthetics, and enrich recreational opportunities. However, as these areas are fragmented and disappear, so do the benefits they provide.

While local governments often guide development away from the most sensitive areas through traditional land use controls such as zoning and performance standards, sometimes these measures are not sufficient to fully protect the forested component of our natural resource base.

The Forest Legacy Program (FLP), a federally funded and state-administered program, supports efforts to protect private forest lands that are environmentally, economically and socially critical.

The Colorado Forest Legacy Program is a partnership between Colorado and the USDA Forest Service to identify and help conserve environmentally important forests from conversion to non-forest uses.

The Federal government may fund up to 75 percent of program costs, with at least 25 percent coming from private, state or local sources. Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) funds, private funds, local land conservation organizations and others commonly partner to provide this funding match.

Forest management means beautiful vistasThe Forest Legacy Program helps prevent fragmentation of our forests and preserves natural vistas for all to enjoy.

To maximize the public benefits it achieves, the program focuses on the acquisition of partial interests in privately owned forest lands (conservation easements).

It encourages and supports acquisition of conservation easements (legally binding agreements that transfer a negotiated set of property rights from one party to another) without removing the property from private ownership.

Most FLP conservation easements restrict development, require sustainable forestry practices and protect other values.

In June 2000, the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) was designated by then-Gov. Bill Owens as Colorado’s lead agency for the Forest Legacy Program.

Download the Colorado State-Wide Forest Legacy Program Assessment of Need (1.2 MB PDF).

To date, the CSFS has received more than $10.5 million in Forest Legacy funds that are protecting more than 12,000 acres of land from development throughout Colorado.

For more information, contact the CSFS Forest Legacy Program Manager at (970) 491-6303.

More Information

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