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Stewardship: Forestry program has much to offer to state

At the beginning of this month, the sign-up period opened for the West Virginia Forest Stewardship Program.

It is meant to help non-industrial landowners in all counties plan and manage the wild and wonderful on their land.

Under the program, a landowner hires an approved consulting forester and fills out and submits required paperwork, according to the Associated Press. Once approved, the consulting forester can proceed with work on the stewardship plan.

Reimbursement will be made for 75 percent of the cost of the plan based on a set price of $600 for the plan and $6.50 an acre.

That is a pretty nice deal for those who wish to “meet your forest management objectives for protecting and improving the forest resources on your land.”

As much as Mountain State residents have heard about the evils of fossil fuels — and the need to drastically reduce reliance on extraction industries, we hear far less about the difference we can make by ensuring our beautiful forests remain healthy and abundant. An acre of forest can absorb approximately the same amount of carbon as produced by an average car’s annual mileage.

West Virginia’s Division of Forestry is making available an important program that could do good things for landowners AND our planet.

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