Financial Assistance Available to Forest Landowners

May 22, 2024


The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry (TDF) invites forest landowners to apply for technical and financial assistance to establish or improve their forests. Forest industry members, including loggers, may also apply for assistance to enhance water quality protection and expand harvesting capacity.
 
“These programs are an investment in sustainable forest management,” says State Forester Heather Slayton. “They make it feasible for private forest landowners to invest in their woodlands and they support growth in the forest industry, which is an important part of Tennessee’s economy.”
 
Numerous agencies and programs offer financial assistance to landowners and loggers, each with its own objectives, eligibility rules, and sign-up periods. TDF area foresters can provide guidance on which programs might be the best fit for interested parties and assist with navigating program requirements.
 
Most programs are designed to reimburse recipients for a share of the cost of their approved project. Reimbursement amounts can cover between 50 and 100 percent of costs, with most programs capping total reimbursement at $15,000 per recipient.
 
Forestry cost share programs under the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP) support long-term investments in the future of Tennessee’s forests by providing incentives to qualified landowners. They are designed to promote sustainable forest management practices on forested land, impacting soil protection, timber, wildlife habitat, and clean water.
 
TAEP incentives are also available for sawmills and loggers to avoid impacts on the environment and promote water quality during harvesting operations.
 
The Southern Pine Beetle Initiative (SPBI) program promotes the establishment of pine beetle resistant pine stands and forest management practices to make existing pine stands more resilient to the insect. TDF administers the program in Tennessee, funded by the USDA Forest Service. 
 
More information on these and other programs can be found on TDF’s website at: www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests/landowners/financial.html
 
Please contact your local TDF Area Forester to learn more about these and other financial assistance programs, determine eligibility, apply, and implement a plan. Contact information for Area Foresters is posted online at: www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests/staff.html
 
The Division of Forestry protects Tennessee’s forests by fighting wildfires, coordinating hazard emergency response, providing prescribed fire guidance and contract services, as well as wildland fire training. Additionally, the Division promotes the responsible use of forest resources by assisting landowners, providing quality seedlings, monitoring insects and diseases, improving urban forests, managing state forests, protecting water quality, and collecting forest inventory data. The Division also works to promote primary and secondary forest industries to stimulate the state’s economy. Visit https://www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests for more information.
 
For similar news and feature articles, please see the latest edition of The Cooperator.

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