Monday, February 19, 2007

Tree farms have requirements

TREE FARM: Just north of The Margarita at PineCreek restaurant on Pine Creek Road, there is a sign that reads “Tree Farm: member of the American Tree Farm System.” It looks like a jungle next to Monument Creek, not like a tree farm. What is the deal?
- Margaret Miller

ANSWER: Here’s your answer from Naomi J. Marcus, forester with the Colorado State Forest Service, Woodland Park District:

“Some years ago, the landowner was certified as a tree farmer according to the American Forest Foundation’s guidelines and standards for the American Tree Farm System. In recent years, the AFF ATFS database purged and decertified those who have not been recently re-certified. This landowner, apparently, is one of those purged.” The sign will be allowed to remain posted only if the landowner complies with the program, Marcus said.

In the past, the land was maintained as part of Forest Ag which allows the landowners to sell their timber through the program. The Forest Service said the program “offers similar tax valuation as that of traditional agricultural lands.
Forest landowners voluntarily participate in the Forest Ag program, and must fulfill certain requirements for initial and continued eligibility.”


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