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MSU Extension > Forestry > Programs > Forest Stewardship

MSU Extension Forestry

Montana Forest Stewardship Program

Introduction Workshop Schedule/Registration Steering Committee
Principles Pre-Workshop Materials
Stewardship Plan

spotlight Spotlight: Forest Stewards tell their stories.


Montana forests are valued for wildlife, fisheries, livestock grazing, watershed protection, recreation, and wood products. Nearly two-thirds of Montana’s 23 million acres of forest land is publicly owned, mostly by Federal Government agencies. The next largest ownership is Non-Industrial Private Forest (NIPF) landowners. These 50,000+ individuals control over twice the acreage of the forest products industry. NIPF owners and their 3.8 million acres are the focus of the Forest Stewardship Program. Montana State University (MSU) Extension Forestry operates from the premise that there is a lot landowners can do for themselves if given the know-how. We believe in empowerment through personal involvement. Our goal is to help develop a lifelong relationship between a landowner and their property. We concentrate on developing critical thinking skills, problem-solving and decision- making skills. We teach people to observe, measure, gather and classify data. This results in their ability to discuss, interpret, and predict. Participants can then assess the trade-offs and consequences of their management activities and make informed decisions.

Montana has developed and tested a unique approach to teaching forest stewardship to NIPF owners.
The Key is empowering forest landowners with personal knowledge of their property and the basic principles of forestry and environmental management.
The Technique involves training owners to discover for themselves the intricate web of natural resources on their land.
The Process teaches landowners how to develop their own long-range Stewardship Plan.
The Result is pride in a personally developed Stewardship Plan and the motivation to implement stewardship principles.

Key Elements of the workshop include skills development. Participants learn to:

  • Inventory their property resources.
  • Set goals and priorities for their lands.
  • Analyze resource trade-offs and understand environmental consequences of stewardship decisions.
  • Develop their own Stewardship Plan.

Classes are taught by a team of natural resource professionals.
If you are interested in a learning experience like this, register for a workshop.

Further Readings:
Thesis: Assessing the Short and Long-Term Effects of Forest Planning Workshops for Family Forests
Snapshot: Montana Forest Stewardship Program: A Snapshot

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