Find a Forester
My St. Croix Woods Service Provider Directory
Not sure where to find the right tools and assistance? Use our guide to find local experts that can help!
Click on your woodland goal on the right side of this page to access that directory.
What are your woodland goals?
Learn your Options
Public Foresters work for agencies such as Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWCD), the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), or US Forest Service. Public foresters are often available for site visits and to go over what some of your options are for projects, plans, cost-share programs, and tax incentive enrollments. Often these foresters may not be able to carry out a project or write a stewardship plan for you, so you may also need to work with a private consulting forester. Consulting foresters are privately contracted to help carry out projects and write plans for your woods. They are often able to assist with a wider array of projects, such as timber harvests, invasive species removal, or habitat improvement projects.
Get Help with a Project
Consulting foresters can help you achieve your woodland vision. From writing stewardship plans to creating and improving wildlife habitat to planning and carrying out a successful timber harvest, private foresters can work with you to ensure you are getting the most out of your land. When choosing a forester, make sure you find someone you trust and who you believe understands your vision.
Depending on the type of project, you may be eligible for cost share programs and will want to work with a public forester too. You may also decide to bring in an additional consultant or specialist (i.e. habitat manager or herbicide specialist). The list below is primarily forestry consultants. Check out our other sections for additional natural resource professionals.
Start a Woodland Stewardship Plan
Woodland Stewardship Plans are a type of planning guide that incorporates your goals and visions as a landowner into the plans and decisions for the health and management of your forest. These plans are required to enroll in the Minnesota tax incentive programs, SFIA and Classification 2C, and must be written by an Approved Woodland Stewardship Plan Writer. Cost-share assistance may be available to help have your plan written.
To learn more, please visit our Become a Woodland Stewardship page, contact us, or talk to your local public forester.
Enroll in a Cost-Share or Tax Relief Program
The most common cost share options are managed by the DNR and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Tax incentive programs are jointly managed by the Departments of Natural Resources and Revenue.
Requirements, eligibility, and funding availability will vary across programs. To learn more about the different options, please visit our Learn About Your Woods page, contact us or talk to your local public forester.
Once you know which programs you are interested in, the first step is to contact the appropriate public forester or natural resource professional to start an application. This professional may not physically carry out your project or write your plan, but you will need their assistance and approval to enroll in the program. For Minnesota DNR programs, both cost share and tax relief, this will be an area Cooperative & Private Forest Management Forester. For Wisconsin tax incentive programs, it will be a Tax Law Forestry Specialist. For NRCS cost share programs like EQIP, your local or regional NRCS office will be your first point of contact.
The actual projects and plan writing will often be contracted to an approved consulting forester or other professional. Requirements for approved consultants will vary for each program.
Carry out a Timber Harvest or Thinning Project
Thinnings and timber harvests are an important part of forest management. Removing trees can help new growth, diversify your forest, attract wildlife, improve recreational opportunities and minimize the potential for storm and pest damage. A well planned harvest can also bring in additional income. Tree removal projects will often require assistance of foresters and loggers. Most often you will develop a harvest or thinning plan with a consulting forester and a logger that will physically cut and remove the trees. In some cases, a DNR or other public forester may assist with applying for cost share assistance or coordinating with a cut on neighboring public lands.
A forester will also be able to assist you throughout any bidding and sales process. In many cases, your forester will have a network of loggers they are used to working with, but it is important that you are comfortable with the logger. Logger education programs and Master Logger certifications can help you choose a logger who is knowledgeable in best practices. The Minnesota Logger Education Program (MLEP) works with partners to provide loggers with best management practices training. Master Loggers take an extra step of certification and have their work reviewed and verified by an independent board.
Improve Wildlife Habitat
Wildlife biologists and habitat specialists can serve an important role during your planning process. Many biologists will not have the time and resources to help carry out projects in your woodlands, but will be available to offer advice to improve your projects. Many wildlife biologists will have a species they focus on, so if there is a particular species you are interested in as a landowner, it may be worthwhile to find a specialist. Many hunting and conservation groups will have a wildlife biologist on staff or have additional resources to learn about the needs of the species you are interested in attracting to your woodlands.
Public biologists and wildlife specialists may be a useful consult if you are looking for recommendations on general wildlife habitat improvements or would like to carry out a project with benefits to a host of different wildlife species.