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Navigating Forestland Inheritance In 2024

Apr 09, 2024

In the forests of the US Southeast, the passing of family members often brings the unexpected responsibility of landownership to those who have never been involved in management decisions. As generational landowners, stepping into this role can feel overwhelming. In this article, we'll explore the first steps to navigate forest inheritance in 2024!

We'll focus on landownership, drawing wisdom from Scripture and tailored for the unique challenges of the Southeastern landscape.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

1) Understanding Your Inheritance:

As you navigate your forestland inheritance, take time to understand the scope and boundaries of your forestland inheritance. Just as Joshua was entrusted with leading the Israelites into the Promised Land (Joshua 1:6), you are entrusted with the stewardship of this land. What are some things to do to truly understand what you've inherited? Make sure you have a survey of the property, or get a new survey completed if needed; review any legal documents associated with your forestland: deeds, easements, etc; and seek guidance from trusted advisors to gain clarity on your new responsibilities such as your estate planning lawyer, tax accountants and most importantly professional foresters! 

Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. Joshua 1:6

2) Educating Yourself:

Equip yourself with knowledge about forestland management practices specific to the your region. Forest management varies from region to region and country to country. When you are doing your initial Google research, ensure you are looking up information relevant to your area! You can also look into common local flora and fauna for your area, conservation strategies, and land use regulations specific to your state and county. Proverbs 18:15 reminds us, "The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out." Seek out educational resources, workshops, and networking opportunities to deepen your understanding of land stewardship. Land and Ladies is a great starting point to get a full grasp of your land stewardship responsibilities! You can start with our starter stage, our most popular landowner foundations package or check out our library of opportunities HERE. Also be sure to subscribe to our free weekly podcast guaranteed to inspire you with scripture based insights for your land stewardship journey.

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22

3) Building a Support Network:

Don't journey alone in your newfound role as a forest landowner. Surround yourself with a supportive network of professionals who can offer guidance and expertise. Lean on their collective wisdom and experience as you navigate the challenges and opportunities of land stewardship. There is a wealth of knowledge and support in your state's forestry associations, the national forest landowners association, as well as within our own Land and Ladies Academy Community! 

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 

Stepping into forestland and land stewardship as a new inheritor can be both a daunting and rewarding journey. By leaning through the wisdom of Scripture, educating yourself on forestland landownership and land stewardship principles, and building a strong support network, you can embark on this path with confidence and purpose. Remember, you are not alone in this land stewardship journey—God has entrusted you with this land, and with His guidance, you can honor that trust and cultivate a legacy of responsible stewardship for future generations.

And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? Esther 4:14


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