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Revising Your Land Plan

landownership longterm management planning Jun 13, 2022

It’s halfway through June, which means we are literally half-way through the year! And if you’re like me, you were working on your daily checklists and so focused on reaching your daily goals, you blinked and didn’t even realize that half your year has already passed you by…

Why is this important?

Because so many goals can easily get pushed to the back burner because they either don’t have immediate gratification for us or aren’t considered “urgent” and a priority for the day… especially our long-term goals, such as our land. 

What do I mean? 

Well, for example today’s checklist for ME includes: 

  • Loading the dishwasher
  • Washing- Drying
  • Writing this blog 
  • Replying to work emails from the weekend
  • Taking the kids to Nana’s to pick the garden
  • Keeping the kids alive for another day…

Some day’s that list is longer, sometimes it’s shorter just simply based on the day of the week and activities previously scheduled for that day (and how much I procrastinated already). But they do all have one thing in common: immediate results. 

What are examples of long-term checklist goals for ME:

  • Finish a management plan for a local client
  • Investment for my kids college funds
  • Creating new video courses for women
  • Saving for our family Disney vacation in December
  • Planning the 2023 Woman Landowner Symposium for Open Registration in July

So ask me which I’m most likely to finish and make progress on today, this Monday afternoon in June while all my kids are home since summer school is only 3 days a week? 

And it’s not intentionally put on the back burner, we just use the phrase “I’ll get to that first thing tomorrow” or “I’ll finish that this weekend” And then multiply this out day after day after day… And then you look and you haven’t even started the video creation, or saving for the vacation. 

The same thing often happens with your land, especially if you don’t live on site. It might look something like this at the beginning of the year:

  • Apply for EQIP for reforestation practices
  • Get firebreaks installed to prescribed burn longleaf stand
  • Order seedlings for planting 
  • Register for the forestry conference this summer
  • Add 2 food plots for deer season

Then, a new work commitment with an expedited deadline comes needing extra focus the next few weeks. Then it’s the school bake sale you promised the kid’s you would make your mother’s home-made cookies for (and maybe you ended up just buying some from Publix, no shame!). Then it’s spring break, and you’ve been working so much on the new deadline you promised a family-focused vacation with no work. Then it’s Easter and you volunteered for your church’s homecoming weekend. Then school is out and it is officially summer vacation for your kids and you now went from a 5-day work week to a 3 day week. And you look up and you haven’t made it into the NRCS office and now the EQIP deadline is passed for this year; it’s too late to prescribed burn your longleaf; the new seedlings you wanted are all booked up, and you haven’t started any prep work for the new food plots; but hey, you did register for the conference this summer! 

Is it too late to meet your land goals? 

Not necessarily, you may have to plant a different variety that may be more or less expensive than you intended… and you need to make sure you either have the funds to cover the reforestation or decide waiting one more year to apply for cost share is a reasonable opportunity cost for you. 

What IS important is that you review your plans this week (today if your schedule allows!) and see where you are for your land goals timeline. Then adapt and amend where necessary. 

Postponing events by one year isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of land ownership! But where you need to be careful is when one year becomes five, then fifteen and next thing you know you haven’t moved the needle at all in your land ownership goals to get your forestland to meet your needs and vision which you started with. 

Postponing your land goals too long can also change your forestland from being an amazing family asset to a family liability when it may have an increased wildfire risk and low income-producing value. 

So I challenge you today, dig out that plan of yours (OR GO GET ONE!) and see where you’re at in terms of timeline and goals. 

What needs to be completed this year to keep you on track, and what will need to be postponed (or removed altogether)? 

It’s okay for plans to change, but it’s not okay for no action steps to be taken. 

Keep moving forward, keep taking one step at a time towards your vision.

Don’t let your land become the dusty grandmother crystal in the cabinet above the refrigerator. 


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