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Qualified Forest ProgramBreaks Enrollment Record
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Over the last three years, the state’s Qualified Forest Program has experienced a continued upward enrollment trend with a quarter-of-a-million acres of privately-held forestland in the program.


Source: Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Contact: Heather Throne, 517-284-5725

Qualified Forest Program Breaks Enrollment Record for Third Consecutive Year


Over the last three years, the state’s Qualified Forest Program has experienced a continued upward enrollment trend with a quarter-of-a-million acres of privately-held forestland in the program.

“Interest and enrollment in the Qualified Forest Program has dramatically increased over the last three years.  This growth is attributed to legislative support improving the enrollment process for enrolling and investment to operate the program,” said Jamie Clover Adams, director, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.  “It’s also thanks to support from the forest products industry and the state’s conservation districts, as well as MDARD notifying and working with private landowners.”



Under the program, landowners report the volume and value of timber being removed from their property.  As acres enrolled in the program increase, the value of timber harvested also increases.  For example, in 2013, $174,629 worth of timber was harvested; in 2014, $1,115,344; and then in 2015, $3,198,254.  The increase in harvest value demonstrated growth and opportunity in the state’s timber industry.

“The Qualified Forest Program played a vital role for Michigan landing the new particle board plant north of Gaylord,” said Clover Adams.  “The new Arauco International plant, which is currently under construction, will employ 250 people and will be the largest plant of its kind in North America. Construction investment is pegged at a construction cost of $325 million.”

MDARD’s Qualified Forest Program (QFP) provides two different tax benefits for landowners.  With a Qualified Forest School Tax Affidavit, forested non-homestead land becomes exempt from up to 18 mills of school operating taxes.  With a Qualified Forest Taxable Value Affidavit, a parcel’s taxable value is capped, rather than increased, when the parcel changes ownership.  This can provide significant tax savings to the new landowner, but only if they remain enrolled in the QFP.

As part of their continued enrollment in the QFP, landowners pay a two-mill equivalent fee annually.  This fee is deposited into the Private Forestland Enhancement Fund to support continued opportunities for future timber supplies, forestry-related employment, and the conservation, maintenance, and enhancement of a sustainable private timber resource.
Applications must be submitted by close of business September 1, 2016, in order to be considered for the tax exemption in the 2017 tax year.

In order to be eligible for enrollment in the QFP, landowners must:

• Have a current forest management plan, written by a forester registered with MDARD 
• Have forested parcels between 20 acres and 640 acres
• Parcels between 20 to 40 acres must be at least 80 percent forested or stocked
• Parcels from 40-640 acres in size must be at least 50 percent stocked
• Combinations of forested and agricultural land can also be enrolled 

For more information on the Qualified Forest Program, or how to enroll, go to the website at www.michigan.gov/qfp.