Tree Farm Q & A
Have questions? We have answers.
State Tree Farm programs were notified by the American Forest Foundation in 2012 of a requirement that each program must elect to participate in either a certification or recognition program. If the certification pathway was chose, each state had to announce their intention maintaining their certification status by 2015, and be financially self-supporting by 2018.
After meeting with forest landowners and foresters in focus groups around the state, our Arkansas Tree Farm Committee determined that the certification program is the only true option for our state. Certification will provide greater access to markets, preference in times of quota restrictions, and the possibility of more bids for Tree Farm certified wood resulting in potentially higher prices.
MEMBERSHIP: Provides you with membership in a national organization that is a leader in representing private landowners, keeps you abreast of new developments and political trends, gives you a voice in decisions affecting land management, and provides you with an opportunity to shape the future.
NETWORKING: Making connections with other landowners, sharing ideas, learning from each other, connecting with professional foresters, avoiding problems others have had, becoming part of a community that works together for better land management.
RECOGNITION: The green and white diamond shaped Tree Farm sign recognizes Tree Farmers for meeting the standards of the Tree Farm System with a written, approved management plan. We're proud to be Tree Farmers.
CERTIFICATION: Tree Farm Certification that meets international, third party standards of sustainable forest management may provide greater access to markets with more bids on your timber, potentially higher timber prices and preferences when mills are on quota.
EDUCATION: Landownder education programs, tours, and field trips are provided for forest landowners. Tree Farm foresters provide on the ground assistance during initial and re-inspections. Monthly e-newsletters, the Arkansas Tree Farm quarterly newsletter the Family & Forests, and Woodland magazine (quaterly) are provided.
ADVOCACY: Tree Farm advocacy protects your property rights and the right to grow timber in Arkansas.
The National Tree Farm staff works on issues related to Tree Farming, soil and water conservation, and much more. Notable success includes the $5.43 million estate tax exemption and the Farm Bill making Tree Farmers equal to farmers and ranchers for government programs. Tree Farm advocates have also worked diligently on issues related to the Endangered Species Act, Waters of the U.S./ Carbon neutratility of biomass, and many more.
Yes, to maintain certification, each Tree Farmer will be required to meet the certification Standards set forth by the American Tree Farm System, as well as pay a maximum fee of $5,000. There is a cost associated with the standards and an audit to monitor the standards which the membership fee helps cover.
All current Tree Farmers will be invoiced in mid-late June 2017 for their currently certified Tree Farm(s), with invoices being due in July. It will be necessary to decertify all Tree Farmers from the Arkansas Tree Farm Program who opt not to pay the membership fee. For Tree Farms certified after July 1, 2017, the Tree Farmers will be billed a pro-rated amount during the certification process and renewed each year in the July billing cycle. Note: If the Tree Farmer is also an AFA member and they would like to be billed in the same billing cycle, the Tree Farmer should contact Jennifer Johnson so that the billing may be coordinated.
Yes. Although the Tree Farm Program is administered by the Arkansas Forestry Association, each are unique programs with individualized costs associated with them. You may pay both memberships at the same time, but the fees for each program are specific to the administration costs of each program.
Annual membership fee statements will be mailed. If you are an AFA member, you will be able to pay via the AFA membership database.
Membership fees may be paid by check or credit card. Note: Online bank transfers are not accepted at this point of time.
Each Tree Farmer will be assessed an annual fee of $75 for the first tree farm, and $20 for each additional tree farm, with a maximum fee of $5,000.
Please contact Jennifer Johnson with any questions related to the membership fee.
Click here to view the Tree Farm Inspector Manual. See the 2016 Tree Farm Committee on page 8 of the Manual.
Tree Farm Publications
"Families and Forests" Spring 2016
"Families and Forests" Summer 2016
"Families and Forests" Fall 2016
"Families and Forests" Winter 2017
Centennial Family Forest Program
AFA is looking for private forest owners to participate in the Centennial Family Forest Program.
To qualify as a Centennial Family Forest, the land must currently be certified as a Tree Farm and/or Stewardship Forest. Also, it must have been in family ownership for at least 100 years (it does not have to be forested the entire time).
Tree Farm in the News
Before they left for recess, federal legislators complimented efforts being done at the state level, by introducing both a House and Senate Resolution honoring the 75th anniversary of the American Tree Farm System. Both resolutions commend the work of Tree Farmers and volunteers who have been a part of the program for the past 75 years, and their investments in time, manpower and personal funds to practice sustainable forestry. Thank you to Arkansas legislators, Rep. Bruce Westerman, Sen. John Boozman and all the grassroots advocacy leaders and ATFS leaders who continue to help with this effort. Click here to view the story.