Qualified Forest Program
Qualified Forest Program (QFP)
On June 6, 2013, Governor Snyder signed into law Public Act 42 of 2013. PA 42 (in addition to eight other Public Acts) changed the manner in which the 2006 Qualified Forest Program (QFP) is administered and moved the program jurisdiction from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). The purpose of the Qualified Forest Program is to encourage private forestland property owners to harvest timber in a sustainable fashion based on a forest management plan.
There are two benefits from QFP enrollment available to forest landowners. The first is an exemption from the school operating tax, which is usually 18 mills, and the second is an exemption from an uncapping, or “pop-up” of taxable value when the property is transferred.
To meet QFP qualifications the property must be productive forest which is defined as that being able to produce forest products of at least 20 cubic feet per acre per year, which is about ¼ of a cord of wood per year. Parcels of more than 20 acres but less than 40 acres must be at least 80% stocked in productive forest. Properties of 40 acres or more must be at least 50% stocked in productive forest. A forest management plan must be written for the enrolled acres by a forester qualified under QFP.
The District Forester provides free on-site assistance to help forest landowners in Wexford and Missaukee Counties decide whether QFP is a good option for them and to connect landowners with the Qualified Foresters that write management plans. To learn more, call Larry Czelusta at 231-775-7681, ext. 3 or Email him at email@example.com
MAEP Forest, Wetland and Habitat Systems
This program is a part of the very successful Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) system, and is a certification for private forest landowners who are practicing good management and stewardship on their forested lands. After successfully working through the FHW-A-Syst workbook a property would become “MAEAP Verified,” illustrating that the landowner is managing their property at the highest standard.
The MAEAP - FWH system is modeled after the famous American Tree Farm (ATF) System. The ATF is one of America's highest standards for forest certification. By developing the FWH system after Tree Farm the State of Michigan is ensuring that the landowners of this state will be held to the highest standard of good stewardship.
Michigan's Conservation Districts and the Forestry Assistance Program are a key part of helping landowners through the verification process. Many of the Conservation Districts around the State employ FAP foresters who are familiar with MAEAP and will be able to identify and resolve management problems, if any, that would prevent a parcel from being verified.
One of the advantages of being MAEAP-Verified is that any cost-share project application through USDA/NRCS with have a higher priority rating in the competition for cost-share funds.