Protecting Arkansas’s forests, and those who enjoy them, from wildland fire and natural hazards while promoting rural and urban forest health, stewardship, development, and conservation for all generations of Arkansans

Forest Stewardship

Forest Stewardship Program

If you are looking to manage forestland for timber, wildlife, recreation, or soil and water conservation, the Forest Stewardship Program may be right for you! The program can help with multiple-use goals in the management of your forestland. Forest stewardship is a commitment to your land for now and for the future.

Arkansas is blessed with more than 19 million acres of forestland, the majority of which is in private forest ownership. Forest stewardship is the wise use and management of resources that maintains and enhances the value of the forests for present and future generations. The Forest Stewardship Program recognizes and rewards landowners that are managing their forestlands according to a multiple-use concept. The Forest Stewardship Program is also a means by which a landowner has access to resource professionals to assist them in obtaining a written forest management plan addressing multiple-use management.

Cooperating Agencies

  • Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division 
  • Arkansas Game and Fish Commission 
  • Arkansas Historic Preservation Program 
  • Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Division 
  • University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service 
  • Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission 
  • United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency 
  • United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service 
  • United States Forest Service 

These agencies offer their programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or handicap, and are Equal Opportunity Employers.

What are the benefits to the landowner?

  1. A prepared management plan at no cost to a landowner. 
  2. Improved income opportunities. 
  3. Recognition of your efforts with a certificate and sign. 
  4. Knowledge about natural resource management and assistance for many management practices. 
  5. Enhancement of wildlife through habitat protection and improvements. 
  6. Protection against soil erosion and pro­tection of water quality. 
  7. Conservation of water and soil resources for now and the future. 
  8. Assurance of a future supply of timber for forest products. 
  9. Restoration and management of wetlands. 
  10. Recreational opportunities. 
  11. Maintenance and enhancement of the beauty of Arkansas' forests and natural diversity. 
  12. Maintenance of unique historical and geological features. 

Who is eligible?

You are! If you are a private landowner and own a minimum of 10 acres of forests and you want to manage the land for its many resources, the Arkansas Forest Stewardship Program is for you.

How does a landowner become a forest steward?

  1. Fill out the Stewardship Program application or contact a cooperating agency. 
  2. Upon receipt of the application at the district Forestry Division office, you will be contacted. 
  3. Upon entering the program, you and a multi-disciplinary team of natural resource professionals will develop a forest management plan. 
  4. You will receive technical assistance toward the implementation of your management plan. 
  5. After significant progress in implementing your plan, you will be nominated by a resource professional. 
  6. Your nomination will be approved or disapproved by the State Planning Committee.
  7. If approved, you become a certified forest steward and receive a certificate and a sign for the forestland. 

Shared Stewardship Memorandum of Understanding

Governor Hutchinson and U.S. Secretary Perdue sign shared-stewardship agreement

Read the story here.

Signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Shared Stewardship

Forest Steward's Creed 

  • I Believe the right to own land is among the most treasured and valued rights of all Americans; and 
  • I Believe the ownership of land not only grants me the privilege of pursuing my own goals but that it also carries the responsibility of good stewardship; and 
  • I Believe that good stewardship of this country's precious natural resources is necessary to the strength and well being of our nation and our world; and 
  • I Believe that good stewardship will improve the quality and condition of the environment while contributing to the natural beauty of Arkansas; and 
  • I Believe that good stewardship of my land will help provide this country's needs for forest products, for clean air and water, for healthy and thriving populations of fish and wildlife, and for forest based recreation; and 
  • I Believe that good stewardship of my lands will protect our valuable and fragile soils; and 
  • I Believe that good stewardship also involves protecting my forest lands from insects, diseases, wildfire, and overgrazing; and 
  • I Believe further that by practicing good stewardship I can set an example for other landowners while helping my country set an example for the rest of the world. 
  • Therefore, I pledge that I will practice stewardship management of my land. I pledge to follow a written management plan as detailed by the Arkansas Forest Stewardship Program. As a participant in the Arkansas Forest Stewardship Program it is my intent to care for my land in such a manner that it will be in better condition for those generations to follow me.