The Forest Stewardship Program promotes natural resource planning on private non-industrial forest lands. Landowners not classified under forest management programs are encouraged to utilize stewardship management through the development and implementation of a Forest Stewardship Management Plan. Forest Stewardship Management Plans are based on sound management principles designed to restore and protect forest resources and improve fish and wildlife habitats, and share the same format as the management plans required by the American Tree Farm System for their certification program. Stewardship plans help landowners care for their natural resources.
The Forest Stewardship Program is funded by the USDA Forest Service and administered by the Mississippi Forestry Commission. Technical assistance is provided by local, federal, state, and private natural resource agencies and organizations. The State Plan for the Mississippi Forest Stewardship Program provides the framework for how the Forest Stewardship Program is conducted in Mississippi. The State Plan also contains stewardship background, guidelines, and forms for landowners and resource professionals. The Mississippi Forest Stewardship Program promotes the active and informed participation of private landowners in the management and use of all natural resources in their care. This management program is based on the concept that forest landowners can receive the best in total resource management by combining quality natural resource planning with sound management principles. Landowners participating in the Mississippi Forest Stewardship Program can enjoy the many benefits derived from a well-managed forest while knowing future generations will appreciate a legacy built on the stewardship ethic.
Photo by Leslie Robertson, courtesy National Association of State Foresters