Landowner Toolbox

A Forest is More Than Just a Bunch of Trees

So, you want to be a good steward of your land, but you don’t know where to start. First, just take a step back and realize that forests are constantly changing on their own, but what you do today will also affect the future of your land.

Think about your woods. What do you know about them? Take a walk around and try to notice difference features – topography, water, wildlife, tree size or species, man-made structures, etc. Make sure you know your property boundaries. Now you are ready to start thinking about the future.

One essential piece to this puzzle is having clear goals for your property. The job of the landowner is to be passionate about what’s happening in his/her woods – not to wish things were handled differently. Here are some questions to consider when forming these goals:

  • Are you concerned about the overall health of your woodlands and the surrounding environment?
  • Do you wish to create a suitable habitat for wildlife? If so, what kind?
  • Will you or others use the woodlands for recreation?
  • Is the beauty of your woodlands important to you?
  • Do you want to produce wood products or alternative forest products to generate extra income or to heat your home?
  • Are you interested in working in conjunction with your neighbors?

With your goals in mind, you are ready to contact the Rhode Island Forest Stewardship Program Coordinator, who is a RIDEM Division of Forest Environment staff member who can provide free tips and information to get you moving in the right direction.

Or, to learn more about your first steps towards good stewardship, visit Fact Sheet 3.