Forest Stewardship Plans

The Illinois Forestry Development Act provides technical assistance, financial incentives via
    cost-share, free seedlings, and guaranteed tax assessments to eligible timber growers to encourage the
    tending, planting, and protection of Illinois forest resources. The Forestry Development Act is a voluntary
    program administered by the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forest Resources.

Participation in FDA is limited to landowners (timber growers) who own or operate at least five
    contiguous acres of land that is at least a 100 ft wide and systematically managed for the production of
    timber. Non-forested areas are eligible as long as the land is capable of producing timber. All forestland
    located on a property must be enrolled. An FDA approved forest management plan and a ten-year
    program commitment are required. Additional eligibility and program requirements apply.

  Tax Incentives
With the passage of the FDA, the Property Tax Code (35 ILCS 200/10-150) was amended to provide
    a tax incentive for the Illinois timber grower. The amendment to the Property Tax Code states in
    counties with less than 3,000,000 inhabitants, any land being managed under a forestry management
    plan approved by the Department under the guidelines of the FDA shall be considered as other farmland”.
    The land shall be valued at 1/6 of its equalized assessed value based on cropland.

The following will be included in your Forest Stewardship Plan:

1.  Location of Managed Land - The location of the managed land including the county, section,
    township, and range.  The property index or parcel number shall also be provided when available.

2. Map of Managed Land -  11x17 aerial photograph complete with property boundaries, prescribed
    management practices, and legend. 

3.  Description of Forest Type to be Managed - A description of the present forest stand and the
    conditions that created the stand will be described.  A forest inventory conducted in accordance with
    the procedure outlined in the Illinois Forest Inventory Data Processing System (IFIDP), Forest Cover-
    types, and Forest Site-types.  Inventory and field data will be provided to the District Forester.

4.  Harvest Schedule Projected 10 Years - The projection shall be based on forest inventory and will
    include the description of the areas to be harvested and the estimated volume per acre.

5.  Reforestation and Afforestation - This Section, if needed, must address site preparation, planting
    methods, pre and post care, species selection, soil series, landowner objectives and be identified
    on the map. The open areas designated for planting and described in an approved plan will not be
    submitted to the Illinois Department of Revenue as provided by Section 1537.70 until the following
    provisions are met: the planting is completed or the designated open areas remain idle and are
    not used for the growing of non-forest crops, pasture or any other agriculture purposes

6. Forest Regeneration - The forest management plan must prescribe an appropriate silvicultural
    system and include detailed strategies to assure regeneration of the forest. This can be accomplished
    by silvicultural treatments, timber stand improvement, site preparation, tree planting or combinations
    of the above activities.

7.  Recreational Use and Esthetics - These uses, when compatible with the intent of IFDA, shall be
    incorporated into the plan, depending upon the landowners goals and objectives. Such uses, as
    follows are encouraged: wildlife observation, sport hunting, fee hunting, hiking, photography and
    others. Campground use and other intensive uses are not permitted. Development of a hiking trail
    for recreational uses and esthetic appreciation or for other practical uses may be recommended
    and prescribed in the plan. Measures to protect soil and water values shall be utilized.

8.  Soil and Water Conservation Goals - The forest management plan shall include measures to reduce
    soil erosion to acceptable tolerance levels. Consideration of the soils shall be made when choosing
    silvicultural treatments.

9.  Protection Measures - Procedures must be established to deal with insect, disease and environmental
    problems. Where wildfire is a danger, firebreaks or other protective measures must be addressed. 

10.  Silviculture Practices Required, Sequence and Specification - The plan will include an outline of
    the recommended silvicultural practices, description of those practices, identification of the areas
    on the plan map and established timetables for practice installation.

11.  An Estimate of the Practice Costs - Costs will be estimated for the practices. The costs may be
     the landowner's labor and materials consumed or the fee paid to a contractor. The cost will be
     subject to the ceiling established for the practice under 17 Ill. Adm. Code 1536.

Illinois Forest
Development Act