Forest management plans and registration in SFIA

Tony Miller explaining plan to landowner

To be eligible for SFIA, you must have a woodland management plan, also called a woodland stewardship plan, prepared by a DNR-approved plan writer. A woodland management plan is a written document that outlines your intentions for your woods. Your land management goals set the tone for the plan, and the final document helps you better understand your land and how to improve it.
When you request a woodland management plan, a DNR-approved plan writer walks your woods, describes and maps the plants, trees, and soils, and prepares a 12- to 30-page forest management plan that includes resources to help you achieve your goals based on the current conditions of your woods.
You must implement your plan to remain eligible for SFIA. Implementation can mean various things and depends on your management goals—maybe you build a trail, set up a thinning, remove invasive species, or plant new trees. After reading your plan's recommendations, you decide which actions to complete. The point is to put good woodland stewardship into practice on your land.
Having a woodland management plan ensures that you fulfill the purpose of SFIA, which is to encourage long-term sustainable woodland management. The plans also open up opportunities for you to receive assistance from federal and state agencies, including cost-share.
Woodland management plans must be updated every ten years for your land to remain eligible for SFIA.

CAP106 plans

If you have a CAP 106 plan prepared by the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), it may qualify for SFIA if written by a DNR-approved plan writer. Contact the plan writer and have the plan sent to the DNR for review and registration. Typically, some information must be added to the CAP 106 plan, such as the amount of SFIA-eligible acres.

Registering your woodland management plan

Your woodland management plan must be registered with the DNR to be eligible for SFIA.

When you register your plan, the DNR forester reviews it to ensure it is eligible for SFIA and meets federal and state standards. If the plan is missing any information, the DNR forester will work with the original plan writer to ensure you have an accurate, useful plan that is also SFIA compliant. Your woodland management plan must be registered with the DNR before accepting your SFIA application.

Your plan writer should submit your plan to the DNR for registration. However, you must instruct your plan writer to do this and tell them you are interested in SFIA. A reminder letter will be sent from the DNR when your plan expires (plans expire in 10 years).

Contact an approved woodland stewardship plan writer to prepare a forest management plan for your woods.

Do not wait until the last minute to contact a plan writer. Depending on the circumstance, it can take several months for a plan writer to complete your plan.


Before your SFIA application will be accepted by the Department of Revenue, you must first record an SFIA covenant at the County Recorder's Office where the land is located.

Three covenant length options exist—8, 20, and 50 years. Payment rates increase as the covenant length increases.

For more information or to get started with a covenant, go to the Department of Revenue SFIA website.

Current SFIA enrollee special details

How to Register Your Plan

All SFIA enrollees must register a forest management plan or Woodland Stewardship Plan with the DNR. To register your plan, email all pages, including the map, to: [email protected]

If you have a paper copy of your plan, ask the forester who wrote it to send you an electronic version (PDF). Or, you may scan the pages to .pdf or .jpg format yourself.

If you are unable to obtain your plan in an electronic format, you may mail a paper copy of all pages, including the map, to:

DNR Forestry – SFIA
500 Lafayette Rd
St Paul, MN 55155

If your forest management plan is currently registered with the DNR, you do not need to register it again until it is due for renewal if you are unsure whether your plan is registered with the DNR, email [email protected].

Can't find your plan?

Woodland management plans typically are 12 to 30 pages long and compiled in a large, three-ring binder titled "Woodland Stewardship Plan." The binder also includes a map and general reference material about managing your woodland.

If you cannot find your plan, contact your plan writer and ask for an electronic copy. If you don't remember who your plan writer is, the DNR may be able to help you locate them. Include the following information in your email to [email protected]:

  • Your full name and your spouse's name (if applicable)
  • Your official mailing address
  • The county where your land is located
  • The approximate number of acres, or a rough idea of how many acres you have

If you cannot locate your plan or the plan writer, and your plan is not currently registered with the DNR, you will need to have a new plan written. Contact a DNR-approved plan writer ASAP.

For more information regarding applications, covenants, or payments, go to the Department of Revenue webpage for SFIA.

Contact [email protected] if you have any questions or need additional information.