FAQ’s – Sustainable Forestry

What is the Center’s Sustainable Forestry (SF) program?

The “Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Program” began in 2013 as a pilot project and is now part of the Center’s Land Utilization work entitled – Sustainable Forestry (SF).  SF provides its participants with in-depth education programs, technical and resource assistance to develop and implement land management plans on their forestland (minimum of 10 forested acres).

Why do I need help to manage my forested acres?
Forestry is a $18.6 billion industry in South Carolina but success in managing your timber is subject to many variables including weather, soil conditions, fluctuating timber markets, a logger’s accessibility to your land, and more. The assistance of a professional forester, who understands all of these variables, will help you realize the full potential of their land. Your relationship with a professional forester is a long term relationship.  It is in their best interest to implement sound practices and obtain the best price for your forest products so that you both maximize profit – year in and year out.

How can I participate in SF?
You must own at least 10 forested acres and you should call the Center and schedule an appointment to meet with the Forestry staff (843-745-7055) to talk about your land and fill out an interest form. Following the application process, Forestry staff will schedule a time to walk your land with you to assess what you have and how best to proceed.

How much will it cost me? 
Participating in SF will not cost you anything. To do the work you may need to do on your land will involve expenses that might include: 1) conducting a survey to determine boundaries; 2) prepping soil (eg. applying fertilizer, tilling, etc.); land preparation (eg. thinning, clear-cutting trees, etc.); 3) prescribed burning; 4) purchasing seedlings, and 5) replanting and/or planting trees.

I don’t have the money to do the work on my land. Is there any financial assistance? 
Yes.  The Center will help connect you with the agencies that can provide financial assistance, if you qualify.

How long will it take to start making money?
Every forest landowner’s case is different.  Making money depends on the condition/situation of your land; what you want to do with your land, and the work needed to accomplish what you want to do with your land.

How do I pass my forestland on to the next generation?
The Center will connect you with professionals who can help you develop the best plan for passing your land on to the next generation. Part of that plan is having your Will drafted so that you can name who you want to inherit your forestland after you are gone.

What if my forestland is heirs’ property (HP)?
You can become an SF participant if your property is HP, but to benefit from all of the SF services, you will need to resolve your HP issues. Either the Center’s attorney or a private attorney can help you with that process.