The West Virginia Division of Forestry (WVDOF) announced that the sign-up period for the Forest Stewardship Program began April 6, according to a press release. Landowners in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed region, which includes Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan and Pendleton counties, are encouraged to apply. The program assists landowners with the management of the forest on their properties and provides financial assistance to eligible applicants.
The application and all required forms are available online under the “Steps for Enrolling in the Stewardship Program” section: wvforestry.com/management-assistance/stewardship-program.
During the application process, the landowner will hire a consulting forester from an approved list provided by the WVDOF. After filling out required tax forms, the landowner will submit the forms along with a stewardship application to their local WVDOF field office. The forms will then be processed through the Charleston office.
Once the landowner has been approved, he or she will receive an approval letter from the WVDOF to allow the consulting forester to proceed with working on the stewardship plan. When the consultant has finished the plan, it will be submitted to the local service forester for approval. Then, the landowner will sign the statement of intent and send it along with all invoices to be processed for payment. Landowners will receive a reimbursement of 75% of the cost of the plan based on the set price of $600 for the plan and $6.50/acre.
For more information, contact the local WVDOF regional office at https://wvforestry.com/contact-us/region-2-headquarters/ or call the Charleston office at 304-558-2788 and ask to speak with someone about enrolling one’s land in the stewardship program.