For the North Carolina woodland owner there is technical and financial assistance available for the management of forest lands. Much of this help is free and can be obtained at county agricultural and forestry offices. If they cannot offer the services or information requested, they can refer you to the appropriate sources.

N.C. Cooperative Extension Service

This agency serves as a central point for “out-of-school” training and informal education in forestry and related resources. In the transfer of new technology and information, it provides problem-oriented education as well as feedback to researchers concerning problems of forest landowners. Information is transferred through newsletters, publications, meetings, teletips, news media and county forestry associations. Extension also establishes and maintains observation or demonstration plots for short- and long-term forestry studies. It works closely with other forestry agencies and industry. The forest resources extension system is staffed with seven state specialists based in Raleigh, one western specialist based in Fletcher, two area forestry agents (one in Martin and another in Jackson County) and an agent with forestry responsibility in each county. County Offices are listed under county government, Cooperative Extension Service, in telephone directories.

The North Carolina Forest Service

This state agency maintains field offices in 100 counties that are grouped into 13 districts. Division foresters provide on-the-ground assistance with management planning and other forestry problems. They offer marketing advice and maintain a current list of buyers of forest products as well as a list of consulting foresters. Seedlings are offered for sale at low costs from their three nurseries. They constantly monitor fire and weather conditions and are on call at all times preventing, detecting, and suppressing forest and wildland fires. One of their major fire prevention programs is the controlled or prescribed use of fire for hazard reduction. There is a modest fee on a per-acre basis for this service. Another of their fee services is the marking and tallying of pulpwood and timber for selective harvesting. Mature timber and boundary sales cruises are referred to consulting foresters. On-farm assistance to any one landowner is limited to 5 workdays per year. The North Carolina Forest Service also certifies the need for and administers the funding for forestry practices under the N. C. Forest Development Program. Personnel are listed in the telephone directory under county forest ranger, N. C. Forest Service offices, or N. C. Forest Service.

Farm Service Agency

This federal agency also has cost-share assistance programs for site preparation, tree planting or timber stand improvement. Funds for their Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) and Forestry Incentives Program (FIP) will vary with federal appropriations, and it would be well to check with the county offices for available monies. They can be located under U.S. Government, Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency.

Natural Resources Conservation Service

Technical assistance in soil and water management may be requested from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. They help farmers and other land users plan and apply conservation systems that protect the land and improve production. From their soil surveys they suggest which trees are best suited to particular soil types and potential production. A listing for their county office can be found under U.S. Government, Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service.

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

For those forestland owners interested in wildlife, assistance and information is available from this agency. If interested in a cooperative management agreement for the purpose of protecting and managing wildlife, they have such a program. Under the program, Renewed Emphasis Now on an Environment for Wildlife (RENEW), hunting is allowed only by permit issued by the landowner. Local Wildlife Enforcement officers provide the necessary protection against unauthorized hunting. Technical guidance and several wildlife planting seed mixtures are provided by area biologists at no cost to the landowner. Agency personnel in each county are listed under the N. C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

Consulting Foresters

Consultants provide a key service for woodland owners who need to hire professional assistance, particularly in marketing. Their services may cover all forestry problems and forms of assistance. The consultant is able to act as an agent in timber sales and monitor sales to assure the owner that contract terms are met. A list of forestry consultants may be found at the local county agent or county forest ranger’s office. Many wood-using industries offer forest landowner assistance programs. Industry foresters will assist with management planning and many have company contractors who do site preparation and seedling planting at a specified cost. In exchange for services rendered, the company will usually request an option to purchase timber at competitive prices. Local agricultural offices can supply names of industries with assistance programs.

North Carolina Forestry Association

This nonprofit organization was formed in 191 1 to advance the intelligent use of the state’s resources. Membership is open to all interested persons, and annual dues for individuals are $30, except for students, $15/year. The North Carolina Forestry Association sponsors the state’s tree farm program, which gives public recognition to those private timberland owners who are doing an outstanding job in managing their forested acres, thereby encouraging others to do likewise. Requests to this association may be made to 1600 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC 27608.

North Carolina Forest Landowners Association

This nonprofit grassroots organization was formed in 1941 to speak for timberland owners at local, regional and national levels, and encourage them to practice sound forest management. The Forest Landowners Association publishes the Forest Landowner Magazine six times a year, a Forest Landowner Manual every other year, providing a directory of wood buyers, consultants, extension and public forestry agency personnel and a Washington Update newsletter. In North Carolina they also publish a chapter newsletter and sponsor educational workshops covering various forestry topics emphasizing subjects of interest to private landowners. Membership is open to all interested persons. Dues for individuals are $40. Requests to this association may be made to either 2128 Possum Trot Rd., Wake Forest, NC 27587 or P. O. Box 95385, Atlanta, GA 30347-0385.

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Published in August 1996

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