Forestry Assistance Program & The Referral Process
The Forestry Assistance Program works to provide an initial and professional point of contact for non-industrial private forest landowners located in Alcona & Iosco Counties. Typically, these private landowners have questions about forest management practices, improving wildlife habitat, forest health issues, management plan development, tree and shrub planting, available cost-share programs, and other topics related to their uniquely forested property. The Alcona Conservation District's role is to provide general guidance, information, and facilitate referrals for landowners to private or public sector Natural Resource Professionals when necessary. The majority of private landowners do not require referral services and this is just fine with us. Our goal, and that of the Forestry Assistance Program, is to help the non-industrial private forest landowner better understand the resource they own while providing free advice on how to sustainably manage that resource into the future.
Landowners Interested in the Referral Process can Expect the Following Steps to Occur:
Step 1) The Alcona Conservation District Forester representing the Forestry Assistance Program, will conduct a "Walk & Talk" with you on your property. The purpose of the walk & talk is to understand each landowner's specific goals and objectives, with respect to their property and specific assistance needs.
Step 2) During and following the walk & talk, the forester will provide you with verbal, and when necessary, written recommendations of how to accomplish each private landowner's specific assistance needs. These recommendations are based upon the site conditions observed at each property visited and corresponding sustainable management practices.
Step 3) The assistance needs and pertinent information describing each visited property (landowner goals/objectives, soils map, description of timber type(s), township, range, and county) is then emailed out to private sector foresters or public agencies (sometimes both). These Natural Resource Professionals then have two weeks to express interest in the referral. At no point during the referral process will private landowner's name and contact information be included.
All of the Natural Resource Professionals we've included on our list have agreed to be part of the referral process. Each landowner is given a list of these professionals following the walk & talk, and a link to this list is provided here "Natural Resource Professionals" and under the "Forestry Professionals" tab. We've chosen to refer private landowners out to these professionals as they have degrees related to a natural resource field and they've established a reputation for quality work and landowner satisfaction.
At times, some landowners' assistance needs don't fit into the "forest management" category. So, these landowners may find themselves being pointed toward resource professionals who deal with non-forestry related management needs.
Step 4) At the end of the two-week period, the forester will inform the landowner(s) as to which Natural Resource Professional(s) expressed interest in their referral. It's then up to the landowner to contact these resource professionals as they do not have your contact information.
We encourage you to contact each of these professionals in the process of determining who can best help you achieve your management needs. The choice of which resource professional to work with is solely the decision of each individual landowner. Alcona Conservation District maintains an unbiased stance throughout the entire referral process. We cannot, and do not recommend who the private landowner should work with.
Step 5) The forester will then personally follow up with each private landowner in order to make sure your assistance needs are being addressed. We strive to ensure that your unique and often varying management goals have been, or are being accomplished.