TREASURE Forest Certification

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TREASURE Forest Certification Nomination Form

How do I get my property certified?

Six Steps to the Certified TREASURE Forest Award

Anyone owning 10 or more acres of forestland can be considered for the certified TREASURE Forest award. To be eligible, a landowner must do the following with respect to all their forestland in Alabama:

Identify one primary and at least one secondary management objective (Objectives listed below) for the property based on the following list of choices: Timber Production; Wildlife; Recreation; Aesthetics; Environmental Education.

Possess or acquire a written multiple-use management plan for the property. Your local Alabama Forestry Commission office can help you identify options for obtaining a written management plan if one does not exist.

Actively practice multiple-use management on the property. Your local office of the Alabama Forestry Commission can supply you with information on the level of management activity necessary.

Once these items are in place, the following must occur to earn the award:

The property must be nominated by someone associated with one of the member agencies or groups of the Alabama Forestry Planning Committee. The nomination form can be found here. You may contact them and suggest a nomination if you feel your property or that of someone you know qualifies for the award.

The property must be inspected by a registered forester and wildlife biologist. Your local Alabama Forestry Commission office will arrange the inspection.

The nomination and inspection report must be submitted to the TREASURE Forest Subcommittee of the Alabama Forestry Planning Committee for review and approval.

If you would like to be considered for the certified TREASURE Forest award, or know of someone else who may qualify, contact your local office of the Alabama Forestry Commission or other member agency/group of the Alabama Forestry Planning Committee. They will be happy to assist you with any step in the process. To find your county AFC office, click here. To nominate someone for the award, print this form and mail it in to the Alfa Home Office in Montgomery.

Objective Requirements for Certification:

In order to earn the TREASURE Forest Award, a primary and at least one secondary objective must be identified. Generally, the primary objectives accomplishments are more intensive and should reflect a higher percentage of the work performed on the property. In addition. the following non-objective accomplishments must be met:

  • Forest health must be maintained through timely thinning and harvests as well as other appropriate silvicultural methods.
  • Timber protected from fire, insects, disease, and invasive species.
  • Damaged timber salvaged unless it interferes with primary or secondary objectives.
  • Definitive plans to regenerate all forestland before final harvest, unless land-use will change.
  • Management for primary and secondary objectives performed in a manner least damaging to other resources.
  • Water quality protected and erosion minimized by following Alabama’s Best Management Practices for Forestry.
  • Unique plant communities, critical wildlife habitat, and endangered species habitats protected.
  • Historical and archaeological sites identified and protected.
  • Management for primary and secondary objective done in the most aesthetically pleasing manner.
  • Litter and garbage should be controlled throughout property.

Environmental Education

As a Primary Objective:

  • Sponsoring or organizing environmental education programs.
  • Developing environmental education areas such as demonstration plots, nature trails, outdoor classrooms, etc.
  • Featuring plant/animal species and communities and/or multiple use management practices for educational purposes.
  • Examples of Environmental Education include the following:
  • Soil and water protection education/demonstration
  • Plant and/or animal species identification
  • Endangered species identification and management
  • Landowner field day
  • Demonstration forest
  • Ecology Workshop

As a Secondary Objective:

  • Sponsoring or organizing environmental education programs.
  • Developing environmental education areas such as demonstration plots, nature trails, outdoor classrooms, etc.
  • Featuring plant/animal species and communities and/or multiple use management practices for educational purposes.

Wildlife

As a Primary Objective:

  • Features species identified and wildlife management recommendations followed.
  • Enough suitable habitats deliberately created, maintained, and/or improved to support healthy populations of desired species.
  • Wildlife populations kept from becoming so dense that they are damaging their own habitat, or the habitats of other species.
  • Other resources managed so as to enhance the habitat of featured wildlife species.

As a Secondary Objective:

  • Desired species identified and wildlife management plan followed.
  • Adequate habitat deliberately created, maintained, and retained for desired species consistent with primary objective.
  • Wildlife populations kept from becoming so dense that they are damaging their own habitat, or the habitats of other species.
  • Other resources managed in ways that supply some habitat needs of desired wildlife species.

Forest Recreation

The recreational activities must be related to the use of the forest and other natural resources. Non-forest related activity areas for softball, basketball, volleyball, etc. will not be accepted as accomplishments. The management, maintenance, and utilization of forestry and natural resource related recreational activities on the property must be documented.

As a Primary Objective:

Intensive accomplishment, as a result of management practices, toward creating, maintaining, utilizing, or enhancing recreation must be shown:

  • Recreational use specified and management plan followed.
  • The recreation must be connected to forestry and land usage. Some examples include walking, birding, four wheeler and horseback riding trails, hunting, fishing, camping and related activities.
  • Areas with recreational opportunities such as picnic areas, campsites, walking trails, boat docks, etc. should be created, actively maintained, and/or retained.
  • Actual management practices and recreational usage of the property must be listed.
  • Environmental impact of recreational activities minimized.
  • Areas with hunting as recreational use must show evidence of developed hunting opportunities beyond wildlife management such as hunting blinds, camping areas, etc.

As a Secondary Objective:

Significant accomplishments toward maintaining, using, or enhancing recreation opportunities must be shown:

  • Recreational use specified and management plan followed.
  • Areas with recreational opportunities such as picnic areas, campsites, walking trails, boat docks, etc. should be actively created, maintained, and/or retained.
  • Actual management practices and recreational usage of the property must be listed.
  • Environmental impact of recreational activities minimized.
  • Areas with hunting as recreational use must show evidence of developed hunting opportunities beyond wildlife management such as hunting blinds, camping areas, etc.

Timber Production

As a Primary Objective:

  • Active protection of stands from fire, insects, disease, and invasive species risk.
  • Timely salvage of damaged timber.
  • Planned regeneration occurring soon after final harvest.
  • Timber harvested before biological maturity.
  • Stands thinned as needed to maintain vigor.
  • Size and shape of harvest areas compatible with other objectives.
  • Tree species favored and managed that are best adapted to specific sites.
  • Non-merchantable trees controlled as compatible with other objectives.
  • Stands managed toward achieving adequate stocking for the specified objectives.

As a Secondary Objective:

  • Salvage of damaged timber unless it interferes with primary objective.
  • Timely regeneration occurring after final harvest.
  • Stands thinned as needed to maintain vigor.
  • Trees may reach biological maturity but must be harvested before decline becomes evident.
  • Tree species favored and managed that are best adapted to specific sites, unless a conflict with other objectives.
  • Non-merchantable trees managed, unless a conflict with other objectives.
  • Adequate stocking maintained as compatible with other objectives.
  • Size and shape of harvest areas compatible with other objectives.

Aesthetics

As a Primary Objective:

  • Retaining trees with good fall colors.
  • Planting or maintaining flowering trees, shrubs and wildflowers throughout property beyond that around houses and yards.
  • Identifying and maintaining and, where appropriate, enhancing scenic overlooks, unique geological features, and waterfalls.
  • Improving access to scenic areas.
  • Limit size of harvested areas.
  • Minimize negative visual effect of timber harvesting
  • Management to improve visibility within forested areas such as thinning, prescribed burning, mulching, pruning, buffers and screens.

As a Secondary Objective:

  • Retaining trees with good fall colors.
  • Planting or maintaining flowering trees, shrubs and wildflowers throughout property beyond that around houses and yards.
  • Identifying and maintaining and, where appropriate, enhancing scenic overlooks, unique geological features, and waterfalls.
  • Improving access to scenic areas.
  • Limit size of harvested areas.
  • Minimize negative visual effect of timber harvesting
  • Management to improve visibility within forested areas such as thinning, prescribed burning, mulching, pruning, buffers and screens