Although tax laws on timber transactions are not common knowledge, they are an important part of the ongoing cost of owning and managing timber, engaging in forest stewardship activities, and complying with tax law. Timber or landscape trees destroyed by storms are considered "casualty losses" that may allow you as a property owner to take a deduction on your Federal income tax return. Learn more about this option in an article authored by Dr. For more information about tax treatment of timber, visit the National Timber Tax Website.
Raised striped bands between lateral veins of beech leaves. This effort was made through the auspices of the Northeastern Forest Resources Extension Committee and driven by a desire to expand the impact of successful forest legacy planning engagement programs. Our goal was to address the critical issue of helping landowners make well-informed decisions about how best to ensure continued stewardship of their woodlands through intergeneration transfer, land protection strategies, or other tools relevant to keeping woodlands intact. Recognizing limited capacity in the 20 States that comprise the Northeast Region to begin legacy planning programs where perhaps little existed, the grant was viewed as a means to create state-specific resources that would be most useful to landowners as they navigate this complex decision.
Read the full Your Land, Your Legacy article.
America’s Private Forests: Status and Stewardship - Pacific Forest Trust
Now before pointing to the "Save Yellowwood" sign in your front yard in agreement or sighing at the gall of the so called "tree huggers" in exasperation, this discussion is not about the state's public forests. No -- rather, it's the private forests at stake. The ones surrounding the house where you live, the ones where you go four-wheeling with family, the ones where you go hunting with friends or the ones where you chop wood to feed your fires.
The ones you own. Read the full IndyStar article. Michael Huneke, U. It celebrates the on-the-ground work partners have accomplished for our state and private forests. This booklet shares success stories as it guides the reader through the many programs administered by the U. Forest Service's Cooperative Forestry Program through State forestry agencies and other partners throughout the country.
Micha Bennett, MobilizeGreen, in partnership with the U.
Living Your Stewardship Ethic
Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry If you want to make the most of your backyard woods this year, now is the time to get started. For helpful ideas, check out the U. It has 44 pages of tips, how to's, photos, and fun facts about creating a master plan to manage your woods for the things you value. Read the full Backyard Woods article. Northern red oak Quercus rubra L. In New England, the species is declining due to regeneration difficulties, dwindling farmland abandonment, and losses from deer browsing.
Taking a Walk in Penn's Woods. Allyson Muth, Forest Stewardship Program Associate, The Pennsylvania State University One thousand Pennsylvanians took to the woods on the first October day of to participate in 61 organized walks across the State and in a myriad of other informal hikes. This day of woods walks celebrated the benefits and resources Penn's Woods provides its citizens and gave everyone an opportunity to enjoy and learn about the forests that make up the majority of land cover in Pennsylvania.
A family takes part in a walk in Penn's woods in October Courtesy photo by Allyson Muth Back to Top. In , she completed a Master of Science degree in Entomology at Penn. Fern Graves. Joe currently works as a field forester in north-central Iowa where he's been for more than 10 years. Prior to that he was a watershed planner in the Clean Water Act section of the DNR, and enjoys using his knowledge and GIS skills to apply conservation on private lands for water quality improvement and wildlife habitat. Joe states that trying to convince farmers to grow trees on some of the richest agricultural land in the world is a unique challenge that he enjoys most days.
Most of all, Joe just enjoys being in the woods and working with landowners who are passionate about taking good care of their land. Joe has a B. Competitive Grant Success Stories. Horse Logging at Hugo Elementary. It was a snowy day at Hugo Elementary, but the school's young students eagerly braved the cold for a lesson in forest management. The fact that they got to pet and see horses up close probably helped their enthusiasm too.
On December 5, , Tim Carroll of Cedar River Horse Logging brought his equine employees to tend the school's forest and teach kids about horse logging. Students were eager to pet the horses. Courtesy photo by Karen Harrison. Michigan Launches Stewardship Story Map. The landscape plans are now available to the public in an online story map at www.
This site showcases stories of diverse landowners doing interesting land management projects in each of the nine landscapes. Forest Land Conservation Spotlight. The Pilgrim River Watershed Project Nears Completion 1, acres of prime forestland and four miles of river corridor protected A story of collaboration, patience, and perseverance. HOUGHTON -- After a 12 year highly coordinated effort, the dream of protecting a high quality forest and one of the Upper Peninsula's best trout streams has just taken a big step toward final completion.
Significant environmental and community benefits have been ensured forever. Read the full Pilgrim River article. Pilgrim River. Courtesy photo by Rachel Hovel. Forest Service Community Forest Program provides cost-share funds to local government entities, qualified nonprofit organizations, and federally recognized Indian Tribes to acquire important private forests that provide public benefits to create a community forest.
Since the first year of funds being distributed through the program in , 42 projects have been funded across the country. On October 21, , more than enthusiastic nature lovers joined together to celebrate the opening of the Portman Nature Preserve. Mother Nature herself seemed to be celebrating with an unseasonably warm, sunny day for October and finally unleashed her fall colors along the shores of the lakes.
Read the full Portman Nature Preserve story. The fall colors along the shore of Mud Lake, public access, and unique wildlife habitats are just a small sampling of the public benefits the Portman Nature Preserve provides. The Milan Community Forest. The Town of Milan also added acres from other sources to form the initial 1,acre Milan Community Forest. The community's goal is to continue to add land to this beginning to expand the Forest to a minimum of 5, acres.
Besides the CFP grant, financial assistance came from several other sources: the State of New Hampshire, private sources, and the taxpayers in Milan. Read the full Milan Community Forest story. Courtesy photo by George Pozzuto. Naturalist's Corner. Karen Sykes, U. It's that time of the year when woodlands and sugar bushes are filled with landowners tapping trees, running tubes from buckets to a central collection area, or collecting sap the old fashioned way by hanging a collection bucket right on the tap or using plastic, 2-liter bottles.
Sugar maple trees, in particular, are the main source of sweet sap. Maple tree tapped for sap. In This Issue. Want to read about other forest land conservation efforts? Partnering for Forests: A Look at the U. Congratulations, Mike! Quick Links U. The key component?
AMERICA’S PRIVATE FORESTS: STATUS AND STEWARDSHIP
Focus the messaging on the real, tangible benefits and make them connect to the average person. Read the full Trees Work story. Croix River Association The St. Croix River flows more than miles along much of the northern Wisconsin-Minnesota border, providing a cool, healthy water flow into the Mississippi River.
Its tributaries stretch across the landscape to form 28 watersheds, and its drainage basin covers more than 7, square miles - roughly the same size as New Jersey. The watershed is home to rare geological features and habitats, globally significant migratory birds, 40 native mussel species, the rare snake-tail dragonfly and Karner blue butterfly, and a wide array of terrestrial and aquatic wildlife. In the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers were among the original eight congressionally designated "Wild and Scenic Rivers.
Croix and its tributaries also serve as a valuable resource to its local communities, providing drinking water, energy, tourism, and recreational opportunities. Over the past 10 years, the St. The following elements are commonly accepted "rights and responsibilities" of property owners:. To make economic use of the property, including harvesting of trees and other natural resources. To choose the primary management goals or objectives, including the right to not use resources. To seek quiet use and enjoyment of property, free from unreasonable interference by others.
To pay applicable taxes on the land and income generated from the use of resources. To comply with applicable environmental laws to protect resources such as soil and water. To consider the impact on neighboring landowners, communities, and the public when making significant land-management decisions. As America has developed, recognition of the multi-faceted value of natural resources—from economic, cultural, and psychological perspectives—has contributed to efforts to manage and use the resources in ways that protect them. That recognition can be considered the foundation of sustainability, and the goal of sustainable development has been integrated into many aspects of resource policy.
An important dimension of national efforts to promote sustainable use of natural resources is the need to reconcile the personal desires and objectives of private landowners with the interests of the public. Landowners, who own much of the property that constitutes America's natural-resource base, have various objectives for their property. The public also has objective relating to how natural resources are managed, most notably the objective of protecting the public from adverse affects.
The expression of the public's objectives is most commonly seen in environmental laws and other property-related regulations that might restrict how land and resources are used. The potential tension between. From a legal standpoint, the relation between the actions of private landowners and those of the public in regulating how that property may be used is controlled by the Fifth Amendment of the U.
In more general terms, this relation is the subject of current discussion about property rights in the United States. Another approach to rights and responsibilities is found in the native societies of North America, which had two institutional concepts underlying their land tenure systems: usufruct tenure legal right to enjoy the fruits or profits of land belonging to another and required sharing of land rent among the community. Those emphasizing the responsibilities of landowners would appear to side more with the Native American view, although two distinctions need to be made.
First, the principle that the Fifth Amendment does not allow landowners to harm the interests of the public still rests on the public's desires as a basis for limiting the rights of landowners to do as they wish with their property. The responsibility of a landowner to pay taxes represents some recognition of legitimate community interests in the land, but taxation does not limit on the definition of private property rights. The second distinction is the presence of modern government.
The definition of responsibilities in America often involves the actions of government. The Native American idea of community ownership of land involved local units, such as clans, numaym , villages, or bands. Confederacies, such as that of the Iroquois, might have been closer to the concept of modern government; however, they had rules that limited the power of the confederacy to interfere with local units.
Examination of Native-land institutions, therefore, raises the issue of the proper definition of "community" for the purpose of defining "responsibilities. Other participants argued that the government should be doing more to promote sustainable management of forest resources.
Most agreed, however, that forest landowners recognize the need to manage their properties responsibly. Part of the challenge for public officials is to identify how best to work with forest landowners to help promote sustainable practices that reflect a commitment to long-term stewardship. A commonly accepted definition of stewardship and sustainable forestry must also be developed.
Part of that task will involve identifying opportunities for forest landowners to manage their property in ways that are economically profitable and protect public interests. The danger in discussion about sustainable management of private forests is that it can become embroiled in a debates over rights and responsibilities associated with private property, which obscures progress on efforts involving interested landowners.
A recently developed program designed to promote sustainable forestry involves a number of forest-landowner associations. That program. Native American communities have world views that differ from the world view that governed the exploration and development of North America. Consistently, many native peoples objected to policies that did not show respect for the land. As environmental problems have become more important in recent years and as the widespread consequences of extreme environmental policies, such as the exclusion of fire, have become evident, American society has shown some interest in the concepts and principles of "property" as employed by native peoples.
In the National Woodland Owners Association linked private property rights directly with responsible land stewardship through the "Private Property Responsibility Initiative. Show, by action, a practical concern for other resources, including water, wildlife, soil, and natural beauty. Share our knowledge of good forestry with others and exercise our property rights in a responsible manner. When practical, and at our discretion, we will consider opening our land to hunting and other uses by the public, either at a fee or at no cost.
Self-policing among mill owners so as not to provide a market for stolen or improperly harvested wood. Multiple sources of professional forestry advice and educational opportunities. Much of the interest in the world view of native peoples has focused upon issues of land ethics Callicott and spirituality Hughes Of equal importance, but largely ignored, are issues of land tenure and systems of property rights. One consistent policy among tribal leadership has been resistance to the concept of private property in land.
Tribal leadership opposed two aspects of private-property principles. First, they did not want to allow members of their tribe to sell land without permission from the tribal government—whether it was a chief or a council of leaders.
taitantcirte.tk Second, even if a tribe was successful in opposing the sale by individuals of the land they claimed, many tribal spokesmen still insisted that their internal property rights not be private-property rights. Because of the diversity of native cultures in North America, most generalizations about indigenous property systems have to be made with care. The largest generalization is that most native cultures used a version of usufruct tenure: rights to the use of parcels of land depended upon use of the land. Categories used to describe land, however, were extensive. The ecological habits of different animals were so various that their hunting required a wide range of techniques, and rights to land use had to differ accordingly Cronon However, Native Americans recognized that individual members of the tribe could have extensive control over particular parcels of land.
The right of control, however, was contingent upon use of the land. Native American cultures share an attitude of respect toward the world around us Brown ; Callicott ; Nelson , To summarize distinct world-view assumptions, Trosper offered the following four components to characterize the Native American definition of respect: community, connectedness, seventh generation, and humility. Community : Men and women are members of a community that includes all beings.
Each has its proper role and each has obligations to others. All beings have spirit. Human-to-human relationships are similar to human-to-animal and human-to-plant relationships. Human obligations in actions toward nature should mirror human actions toward one another Fiske Connectedness : One should expect that an action that affects one part of the environment will have impacts on other parts.
Further, the connections are many and complicated. As a consequence of the assumption of connectedness, native peoples rarely classify other species as "good" or "bad. Seventh Generation : Among humanity, past generations left a legacy, and humans have a duty not only to their children but to seven generations. This assumption of duty to the seventh generation leads to a belief that the land should be sustained. Humility : In taking action, humans should be humble. The natural world is powerful and complicated. Connections are not obvious, but they are important when considered over the time scale of seven generations.
Some tribes object to the concept of "management" and prefer the term "care-giving" to describe their philosophy of interaction with the land. On reservations, tribes generally have rights of self-government that exclude land regulation by states. The legal doctrines are complicated, however; see Getches et al. Not only do tribes control timber harvest, they control other land uses as well. Tribes are able to qualify for enforcement of matters under the jurisdiction of the U.
Environmental Protection Agency. These acts require action by the BIA, but if it is recognized that tribal land is private land, then application of these acts should be limited to tribes. In the Pacific Northwest, tribes reserved the right to fish in common with others at accustomed fishing areas. Those rights have been upheld in recent court decisions Cohen Treaties in the Great Lakes area, Wisconsin in particular, protect tribal hunting and gathering rights. Along with state law, these federal statutes define subsistence hunting and fishing rights.
The federal law protects Alaskan native rights on federal lands, whether or not the state laws protect native rights Getches et al. Native Americans do not regard their lands as belonging to the federal government. However, federal policy has not adequately distinguished between tribal and federal lands. A representative of the Quinault tribe summarized the resulting conflict as follows:. This situation has resulted in a growing tendency to rely upon Indian lands as wildlife sanctuaries or habitat or to restrict the exercise.
Under the ESA [Endangered Species Act], efforts have been made to shift the conservation responsibility onto Indian tribes to compensate for problems caused by non-Indian development and management practices. Standards have been prescribed by tribal governments to guide the application of conservation measures whenever Native American rights or resources are involved. More fundamentally, however, the species-by-species approach to prevent extinction embodied in the ESA is at odds with the Quinault's broader perspective of consideration of the consequences upon the whole environment and future generations.
Other tribes have expressed similar concerns. For many decades, Native Americans applied higher environmental standards to their land than the federal government applied; for example, "sustained yield" for Native American land is defined only in terms of wood-fiber production. After preserving diverse habitats on their land with their own policies, tribes wish to maintain control of their land. The debate over property rights is not as simple as favoring private-property rights or favoring more government regulation. All citizens enjoy the freedom and economic potential of private property and the benefits of government programs.
The issue is how to balance the property rights of individuals and protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Use of private property is a fundamental component of American life and a major factor in our economic and political freedom. At the same time, the quality of life and success of the economy is greatly shaped by government action, whether environmental protection, land-use planning, or protection of public safety.
The balance between private-property rights and state imposition of responsibilities on use of private property is one of the most fundamental issues in society. It has a constitutional dimension because of the Fifth Amendment prohibition against taking private property for public use without compensation. The debate over more protection of individual property rights or more protection for societal interests and creation of more private responsibilities has ethical and political dimensions in society.
The forest-resource community has a fundamental stake in the debate. Discussion of sustainable forest-resource management, individual stewardship, or environmental protection illustrates the range of issues involved in public regulation of forests.
- Profiles and Critiques in Social Theory.
- Hot Stuff.
- Landowner Forest Stewardship Plan;
Whether it is protecting wildlife habitat or wetlands, controlling soil erosion, reducing potential fire danger, promoting sustainable management and harvesting practices, or preventing water pollution, important public goals for the nation's forest resources often cannot be achieved without affecting the actions of private forest owners and placing responsibilities on how they manage and use their property.
The effects of government actions can be as indirect as those that result from educational programs for landowners or can be as direct as enforcement of environmental or forest-practice laws. Most commonly, restrictions occur in the form of regulatory standards that establish responsibilities, such as requiring permits before certain actions or prohibiting some types of conduct Ellefson et al. The effect of such regulations might increase costs or reduce the value of the property or income due to limitations on its use. Although some landowners might find such effects objectionable, courts have historically upheld the ability of the public to impose reasonable responsibilities for use on the owners of private.
It is uncommon for regulations to result in loss of private land or removal of any form of economic use. When that has occurred, courts have recognized such results as violations of the Fifth Amendment. Consequently, judicial rulings on taking property in such cases greatly shape future environmental laws by defining the range of regulatory actions possible that do not require compensation.
Courts have traditionally been the sole source of authority for interpreting the Fifth Amendment, but in recent years, state legislatures and the U. Congress have entertained proposals to modify interpretation of the Constitution and alter the balance between the public and individual property owners. This trend has occurred as a result of increasing concern about the ability of government to regulate use of private property. The most common suggestion for legislative action is to limit the percentage by which a regulation can reduce the value of property before compensation is mandated.
Although some states have adopted such legislation, others have not, leaving the current legislative debate over property rights inconclusive Box Laws restricting use of private property or imposing responsibilities for its use might not be accepted favorably by landowners who believe their property is being taken. However, taking property from landowners should not imply that the laws in question are unconstitutional. Property rights have always been subject to the power of courts to limit uses to protect the interests of other landowners, which is the basis of nuisance law.
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More directly, property rights have always been subject to the power of government to enact reasonable restrictions designed to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, known as "police power. In many ways, establishment of these responsibilities for private resource management has been the way society has defined stewardship. Environmental restrictions on use of forestland, such as setback requirements for harvesting near waterways to prevent water pollution, limitations on clear cutting, requirements to obtain harvest permits, or acts to comply with forest-management practice are examples of laws that are controversial to some landowners.
Enforcing requirements for management practices or regulations for property use do not necessarily result in taking property. The courts are inclined. Ombudsmen for Private Property Rights. Compensation law requires state or local agencies to compensate property owners once property is reduced by a certain percentage or when use of the property is inordinately burdened. Some restrictions do result in loss of property which might occur when the government chooses to regulate land use. Regulatory action might be taken especially in times of declining public budgets. Laws that work by making extensive restrictions on use of land, for example, habitat protections under the Endangered Species Act, might be more likely to result in property being taken than more traditional environmental protections that have a historic basis in public nuisance law.
Even with the Endangered Species Act, courts have held that limiting the use of private land to provide habitat is not necessarily a taking of private property. However, a recent Supreme Court decision enables landowners to take legal action against the government if loss of property values is caused by regulation under the Endangered Species Act. The purpose of the "taking" clause of the Fifth Amendment is to prevent confiscation of private land for public use.
Courts have held that governments can go too far in obtaining public benefits by restricting use of private property without compensation. However, defining the limits on the reach of "police power" and defining how far public regulations can go in restricting use of private property before taking property have been difficult questions for our courts. Supreme Court has noted its own inability to develop a set formula for determining when economic injuries from public actions must be compensated. When property is physically occupied by the public, the owner clearly must be compensated, as is generally the case when all economically viable use of the property has been restricted to render it valueless Stedfast That is the case unless the use of the property was considered a nuisance historically or a threat to the public.
The issue is more complicated in situations where land is not physically taken but the use is restricted or the value is reduced, as is possible with many environmental or land-use laws. Could a law prohibiting clear cutting or a zoning law preventing converting forestland to houses be the same as taking property? Each case is likely to depend on the facts and the nature of the restrictions.
Courts consider many factors when deciding a property claim, including the following: the nature of the restrictions and whether they promote a legitimate state interest; the impact on the property value and the owner's reasonable expectations to use the property; and the nature of the public benefit that is being protected or the harm that is being prevented by imposing responsibilities on the private landowner.
As a general rule, courts will find restrictions valid if they are reasonably related to promoting a public interest and the landowner is left with some economically viable use of the property. Courts find for property claims only in extreme situations. Limits on the "police power" are hard to define for other reasons. First, the nature of private property, or what society will respect as distinctly private, is.
Second, activities seen as having an adverse impact on public health also change over time.