AFF Launches MyLandPlan.org:
Online Tool for Woodland Owners
Families—not the federal government—are the largest ownership group of America’s forest land. That’s right. Families. And they own more than 250 million acres! Yet, many woodland owners aren’t actively engaged in keeping their woods healthy and productive.
Used to be, woodlands could be left alone, but today, there are many threats to the health of forests: pests and pathogens, invasives, drought and severe weather, development pressures and fragmentation. Still, many woodland owners think it’s best to do nothing, which actually is not a good idea. But what’s even worse? Doing the wrong thing.
That’s why AFF is launching MyLandPlan.org, a new effort to help woodland owners protect the land they love now, and for the future.
“A lot of woodland owners buy 10, 20 acres or more of woodlands, and that’s where it ends,” says Jennifer Jones, AFF’s Vice President of Communications. “Our goal is to help raise awareness among these woodland owners about the steps they can—and should—take to keep their forests healthy.”
Through an easy-to-use, fun and interactive website, AFF is committed to meeting woodland owners where they are. People own woodlands for a lot of different reasons. With MyLandPlan.org, AFF wants to address the interests of a very diverse group of people.
“That’s why the very first question we ask is: ‘What do you want to do with your land?’” notes Caroline Kuebler, Outreach Manager for AFF.
The answer to this question guides forest owners through the site and toward the information they need to improve their property and protect it. We want to help woodland owners enjoy their woods even more,” Kuebler comments. “And, at the same time, we want to offer information that can incrementally help them get more engaged as stewards of their properties,” she added.
"Do you want more songbirds? We can help. Do you want to attract more wild game for hunting? We can help. Is there something special you want to protect on your property? We can give you some ideas of how to do that. Do you want to assure that your property can be kept in your family? We can show you how to make it happen. Do you want the advice of a professional forester? We have that too. The information available is just as diverse as the people the site is intended to reach,” says Kuebler.
The new mapping tool that is the centerpiece of MyLandPlan.org will allow people to go online, map the features of their property (including special, favorite spots and landmarks), and track their progress as they make improvements on their land. “The mapping tool received rave reviews during our testing phase,” says Jones.
A social site within MyLandPlan.org will allow woodland owners to share stories, photos, management tips, and progress reports with their families, friends, and other woodland owners.
“This is a website built for woodland owners by woodland owners. Our staff has a unique appreciation for what’s needed because we own woods ourselves,” Jones points out. “We’re building something that we’ll be using too!”
AFF plans to launch the new site to the public at the end of April. Get a special sneak preview of the new site at www.MyLandPlan.org. And do tell us what you think.