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Mapping and planning

From legal land description questions to species identification, special features, Permaculture potential and/or habitat inventories, Timberline Forestry can provide you expertise and valuable insight into the attributes of your land.

Whether your land management intent is no-action or intensive management, it is important to know the natural features of your lands. 

At Timberline Forestry, your needs are understood.  A variety of resource management plans have been designed for a variety of client needs.

Services listed on this page are:

Land inspections

Michigan Qualified Forest Property (QFP) forest management plans

Michigan Commercial Forest Program (QFP) forest management plans

 Master plans


Have other land management planning project needs?  Please contact me


Assistance Available


All quality land management efforts start with a map.  Whether you need a basic land map or a multilayer GIS map with a database and photos, Timberline Forestry can create a map that is based on your needs.

The sample maps shown below have been created using Timberline Forestry’s cartography software library.  Information that can be incorporated on maps is virtually unlimited.

To inquire about mapping projects, please click here.

Confidentiality of private clients will be honored with the highest integrity.

This simple map above was designed to “georeference” trees that were important for a landowner to retain during timber harvest operations.  Each tree was identified by a series of painted marks on the trunk. Then the location was taken with a GPS and recorded. The precision of this location was 15 feet, which allows easy relocation of the trees. Special language in the timber harvesting contract would define values for the trees should they be damaged during operations. The trees could have any sort of attributes. They might be favorite trees or wildlife den trees.  In this instance they were particularly well-formed crop trees that could potentially bring much higher prices in the future than at the current time if retained unscathed during the harvest..

Land inspections

Timberline Forestry approaches the inspection of land differently than that of other natural resources professionals. This service is an excellent value for any landowner wanting to know more about their land and it’s natural features. 

The land inspection includes:

1. GIS based land map
2. Physical site inspection.
3. Discussion of land attributes and use issues

It is recommended the landowner(s) be present during the inspection for maximum value, but is not necessary.

If this sounds like something that you might be interested in, for further information please click here.

Michigan Qualified Forest Property (QFP) forest management plan:

In September 2006, the state of Michigan adjusted the tax code to allow forest landowners an opportunity to reduce some of their property tax if the land is enrolled in the Qualified Forest Property program through the State of Michigan. Timberline Forestry supports this tax advantage for forest landowners, but landowners should understand the advantages and disadvantages before enrolling lands into the program.  This program was amended in 2013 with some further advantages for landowners, including allowing enrollment of land containing buildings.

Enrollment for the program is conducted through the cooperative efforts of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), your local tax assessor, and the Michigan Department of Treasury.  The first step of enrollment requires a management plan written by a qualified Forester.

Timberline Forestry has successfully authored several of these plans and would be happy to produce a QFP Forest management plan for you so you can enjoy the tax benefits of the program on your land. 

As of July 2016, the program stipulates that lands must fit the following criteria:

-20 acres or larger parcel
-80% or more of the land in forest cover for parcels under 40 acres
-50% or more of the land in forest cover for parcels over 80 acres
-No more than 640 acres can be enrolled per taxing unit (this typically means township).

Plans must be filed with the MDARD by September 1st of the year prior to the year in which the tax benefits will be realized.

If you are interested in enrolling your land into the QFP program, please
contact me for more information.


Michigan Commercial Forest Program Forest Management plan

The Michigan Commercial Forest Program (CF), (formerly the Commercial Forest Act) enrolls private forest land into a significant tax advantage (as of July 2016, $1.25/acre/year total tax liability), but in order to enter into the advantage, the landowner must allow daily public access to their lands.  This is a wonderful tax advantage for absentee landowners who solely hold the property as timber investment. Enrollment requires a Forest Management plan to enter or re-enter a parcel into the program.

Timberline Forestry has successfully published approved plans for the commercial forest program and will be happy to help you with your plan. Like the QFP program above, it is recommended that the landowner carefully consider enrollment in the plan, as changes to the law are currently being proposed in the Michigan legislature (most of them positive).

For information about authoring you a CFP Forest management plan, please contact me.

The following is a map that was published as part of a State of Michigan Commercial Forest Program forest management plan, only the original title and locations have been changed to keep the landowner’s information private.  This is an example of the most popular type of forest management maps, showing the property boundary lines and having the natural and man made features delineated with a legend that is clear and easy to read for anyone. The original size of these maps have been reduced to conserve internet bandwidth.  To inquire about mapping projects, please click here.

Master plans (for various land management projects)

A master plan is an outline of what the landowner(s) would like to see the land become over time.  It expIains the land in detail and the actions designed over time to reach and sustain the goals set by the landowner(s).

A simple outline for such a plan is described below, but plans are not limited by this outline.  A plan can range from small documents with simple maps to complex files that include a GIS database and financial analysis of the aggregate of individual stands and even individual trees.  Each plan contains unique information based on client needs.

1. Name and location of the tract.
2. Ownership and stake holders contact information.
3. Owners and stake holders goals and objectives in order of priority.
4. An accurate map of the tract including stand delineation by acreage and forest type, man-made
   structures, special natural attributes of the tract based on aerial or satellite imagery, field
   reconnaissance and inventory data.
5. A current inventory of the quantitative resource attributes of each stand within the tract.
6. A tract overview assessment discussion.
7. Recommended management actions that will most efficiently accomplish the owners objectives, leading
   to a successful project once the actions are implemented.


To inquire about mapping and/or plans please click here.

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