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Forest Selection Process

Forest Selection Process

Viewing a Potential 500 Year ForestOur first contact determines whether the forest fits our guidelines.  A visit is scheduled so the forest owners can show us their property and tell us their vision for their property. While walking the property with the owners, we determine if their objectives and ours reasonably coincide.  This is an information gathering session.  The property owners come to understand our program and we talk about the information we need.  Usually there is already a conservation easement on the property. If not, we discuss how the conservation easement is applied.  If so, we talk about the additional language we would like to add to the easement specifying that this is a 500-Year Forest in which there will be no future harvesting of timber. There are tax advantages for placing a conservation easement on the property and for foregoing the harvesting of timber.

We arrange for a visit from an ecologist to evaluate the forest to allow us to decide the merits of this forest becoming a 500-Year Forest.  With a positive response from this report we seek approval of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.  We are helpful in the conservation easement process which involves a lawyer, appraisers (one for the value of the development rights, and one for the valuing of timber stumpage), a broker on occasion, and usually the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, if in Virginia.