Private forest owners in New York control a dominate portion of the state’s landscape. These forest owning families and private citizens manage 85% of the forest land in the state and thus approximately 50% of the total land in New York. Private forest owners, through their wise decisions and actions support natural resources, communities,and the economy when they:
•   Develop stewardship or forest management plans for long-term forest conservation
•  Conduct timber sales using best management practices
•  Ensure the long-term maintenance of forest cover
•  Enhance wildlife habitat through forest thinning, forest regeneration, or forest preservation
•  Control invasive species that become established on their property
•  Work together with members of groups such as the New York Forest Owners, or other landowner      associations, to educate the public about the values and benefits of owning forest land.

Good news from the Forest Service
The US Forest Service released the 2011 edition of Federal Income Tax on Timber: A Key to Your Most Frequently Asked Questions, a quick-reference guide to timber tax laws impacting woodland owners. Complete with the new tax law updates, this publication provides a timely tax reporting information for the 2011 return filing season. To access the publication:Federal Income Tax on Timber: A Key to Your Most Frequently Asked Questions

Woodlot Management

ForestConnect helps forest owners by providing them with educational resources to help make decisions about the management of their property.

Forest owners can:
• Learn about educational workshops offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension or partner organizations
  • Register on-line for many CCE educational workshops
  • Download fact sheets and publications
• Find a trained forest-owner volunteer, a Master Forest Owner, who will make a free visit to your property
  • Review frequently asked questions
  • Find a CCE educator near them or their property
  • Suggest research topics that can be considered within the research process of the Cornell University     Agricultural Experiment Station
  • View Powerpoint presentations from many previous workshops
  • Subscribe to a controlled email list for announcements and updates.

The Arnot Forest is unique within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the state, as a facility that integrates virtually all programs across teaching, research, and extension functions among student, educator, landowner, and manager audiences. Program participants are better able to make informed decisions about the management, conservation and economic impacts of how they utilize natural resources. Student-and faculty-based research programs are integrated with teaching and extension in support of college and department missions. It is through this integration that the Arnot Forest supports the Department of Natural Resources’ mission to create knowledge and facilitate learning. Arnot Forest programs further contribute to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences mission areas in student education, extension education, productive and sustainable agriculture, environmental stewardship, safe and secure food supplies, and economic vitality. The Arnot Teaching & Research Forest

Other resources:
The New York Forest Owner. A publication of the New York Forest Owners Association, for people who care about New York's trees and forests.

Master Forest Owner Program

This program provides private forest owners of New York State with the information and encouragement necessary to manage their forest holdings wisely.

Over 140 experienced and highly motivated volunteer MFOs are available statewide, ready to assist neighbor forest owners with the information needed to start managing their forests. All MFOs are graduates of a 4-day training program, where they learn about sawtimber and wildlife management, forest economics, and ecology. The MFOs continue to receive information updates, attend refresher classes and maintain contact with natural resource managers from private, public, and academic organizations. NY Master Forest Owner Program

An on-site, no-obligation visit is absolutely free! Forest owners from across the state may contact a Master Forest Owner for information about the program and discuss opportunities for obtaining more satisfaction from one’s woods. At your request, an MFO will arrange a half-day visit with you at your woodlot to get a first-hand look and discuss sources of assistance or information. MFOs are experienced and knowledgeable individuals who can put you in touch with the right people to meet your goals. The MFO can also be instrumental in helping you develop a management plan for your property.

Cooperating Forester Program

For those forest owners who need assistance from a private sector forester, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS-DEC) has recently revised its Cooperating Forester List. The list includes both consulting and industrial foresters.

It is worth noting that being named on the list requires a modest screening process and thus can't ensure that the services and competency of those listed will meet the specific needs of all forest owners. The list is a "list" not a "certification". The forest owner will want to interview several foresters to find the one that best suits their situation.

Peter Smallidge, NYS Extension Forester and Director, Arnot Teaching and Research Forest, Cornell University, 116 Fernow Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853, 607-592-3640 (cell phone) or 607-255-2815 (fax)wrote an article about Working with Foresters and suggests that forest owners read his article at: Working With Foresters

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