New England Forestry Consultants, Inc.
|Volume 1, No. 1
Why Should I Actively Manage My Land?
“Why should I actively manage my land?” Landowners often ask me this question. Now, to me there is an obvious answer, but to many people the answer is not so obvious. It may be difficult to see the forest for all those beautiful trees. So, I answer their question with a question: “Do you know how much your stock portfolio is worth, and do you pay attention to the return from these stocks?” I encourage landowners to look at their land as a diversified component of their stock portfolio. In many cases managed land has more value than their other investments. Nine times out of ten the answer to my question is a very proud “Yes!” When I ask why, I hear how the stock investments were made to generate income, to have a secure future, and that it would simply be foolish to throw money into stocks and not pay attention to them. At this point I seldom need to say anything more. This discussion highlights the very premise of why it is beneficial to manage one’s land.
The ownership of land must be looked at as an investment, even if the sole purpose of the investment is simple enjoyment. The investment must be monitored and managed. It has a rate of return from a specific financial perspective and from other non-financial benefits as well. A nice quiet walk in the woods is a benefit that has value, and to protect this value it makes sense to actively manage one’s land by, for example, insuring that the property lines are marked to avoid a trespass by a neighboring timber harvest.
Many landowners associate land management as only growing and harvesting timber products. This view could not be further from the truth. While growing and selling timber products is one component, land management encompasses a wide range of activities. Land management can range from simply knowing the exact location of property lines to practicing intense silviculture.
The ultimate goal of NEFCo foresters is to make the landowner aware of all potential issues and options; thus, we insure informed land management decisions can be made. Whether the decision is “right” or “wrong” is not judged, as the correct decision is one that assists the landowner in achieving the greatest return for the lowest cost. Categorizing all of the benefits of land ownership as a return and all of the negative aspects as a cost, it becomes very apparent that it is in the landowners best interest to actively manage their land.
Dave Kent, right, discussing land management with land owners.
Notes From the Editor
The goal of the NEFCo Newsletter is to provide landowners with information that is beneficial in managing their land asset. It is our desire to present a diverse newsletter covering all aspects of land management. While this edition concentrates on reducing your ownership costs by reducing your property taxes, future editions will cover topics such as reducing your capital gains tax, generating income from growing timber, generating income from sources other than timber, protecting your asset from theft and trespass, improving wildlife habitat, enhancing recreational opportunities, maintaining and improving your land asset, and conservation easements … to name just a few. We hope you find the material informative and useful and encourage you to contact your nearest NEFCo forester to discuss your land management needs. And thank you for visiting our website at http://www.cforesters.com.
- Tony Lamberton