Programs to improve forest health and sustainability
NASHVILLE– Are you a landowner looking to establish or enhance your woodland or a logger looking to improve your harvesting capacity? The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry (TDF) is offering cost share programs to assist forest landowners and industry with improving forest health and sustainability.
“More than half of Tennessee is covered in trees,” Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “We are working to promote and support agriculture in Tennessee, and our forest resources are a significant part of that. These cost share programs for forest establishment, improvement, and forest industry play a main role in our work to encourage landowners to implement forestry practices.”
Forestry programs under the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP) and Southern Pine Beetle Initiative (SPBI) were developed to promote long-term investments in Tennessee’s forests by providing cost share incentives to qualifying landowners. The programs promote sustainable forest management practices on family forestland, which provide multiple resource benefits such as timber, wildlife habitat, clean water, and soil protection.
Forest landowners are eligible to receive a 50 percent to 75 percent cost share reimbursement for funds spent with a combined maximum reimbursement of $15,000 per year. The landowner cost share sign-up period begins May 1 and ends May 31.
TDF also offers TAEP and SPBI financial assistance for forest industry to help protect stream habitats and overall water quality by utilizing forestry Best Management Practices. Forest industry practitioners, such as loggers and sawmill owners, are eligible to receive a 50 percent cost share reimbursement for funds spent.
The TAEP and SPBI programs each have a maximum reimbursement of $15,000 per year, allowing eligible recipients to receive up to $30,000. TAEP cost share for forest industry is available for sign-up year-round, while SPBI sign-up period is between May 1 to May 31.
Those interested in TDF forestry practices cost share programs should contact their local Area Forester to determine eligibility, implement a plan, and sign-up. For Area Forester contacts and more information about cost share programs, visit https://www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests/landowners/financial.