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North Carolina has over 2 million acres of woodlands in holdings less than 20 acres in size (Brown, et. al. 2007). These small woodlots range from parcels in larger forested areas to patches of green infrastructure in our urban communities. The majority of these woodlands are owned by over 341,000 families (Brown, et. al. 2007) and go unmanaged. These woodlands provide environmental, economical, and social benefits to their owners and to the communities in which they are found. Through management planning woodland owners and communities can enhance these benefits by developing a road map to the future. Managing these woodlands to improve their benefits is a step-by-step process and this publication is a guide that will help lead those interested in developing a management plan through the process.
In North Carolina there is over 11 million acres of woodlands owned by 469,000 family forest landowners. These owners own their land for many reasons: family legacy, recreation, aesthetics, wildlife, and investment. The majority of these owners, over 55 percent, though own less then 10 acres of woodlands and are motivated mostly by noneconomic reasons to keep and nurture these woodlots. Many of these owners are unaware of the support and assistance available to them from state and federal agencies and programs that are designed to support forestry because they do not consider themselves forest owners or are unaware of such resources. If you are one of these owners of small woodlots this publication will provide you information on things you should consider in the management and care of your woodlot and who maybe able to provide you further information and assistance.