American Forest Management Regional Operations: Michigan
AFM’s Michigan operations are headquartered in Atlantic Mine (just outside of Houghton). We also operate a second office near Iron Mountain. Our staff of 15 professionals assists clients by providing services necessary for the management, acquisition, utilization and protection of forest resources. Our clients include large and small private landowners, conservation organizations, and government agencies. With its wide range of technical expertise, AFM handles complex natural resources projects from start to finish.
The forest types in Michigan and northern Wisconsin are very diverse and complex. From the very sandy soils growing Jack and Red pine, to the very wet cedar, spruce and tamarack bogs, to our world renowned northern hardwoods forests, they are each unique and require the care of professionals that understand that the decisions that are made today are going to have implications for generations. The trees in these forests may have been growing there for more than 100 years, so it is very important that landowners work with people that are truly looking to help them to meet their objectives.
AFM currently manages about 450,000 acres of forestland in Michigan and Northern Wisconsin. Our clients range in size from very small Family Forests to very large industrial landowners. Whether small or large, AFM offers the services that make sure the landowner’s objectives are being met. Those services include:
Management Plans- In order to understand what the goals are for each landowner, AFM strongly recommends that the first step in forest management is to create a management plan. The primary goals may be aesthetics, wildlife, sustained and periodic income stream, long-term legacy, etc. AFM has experience in writing plans that meet the requirements of the following programs:
American Tree Farm System
Commercial Forest Act
Qualified Forest Act
Forest Stewardship Plans (potential cost share monies available). For more information: http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-30301_30505_34240-107504--,00.html
Timber Sale Administration- A person does not have to talk to many landowners before there is a story of how someone sold their timber directly to a logger and it ended up being a very negative experience. In an endeavor as complex as a timber sale, it is very important to have someone looking out for the landowner as their primary objective. AFM offers the following services to make sure the landowner is very well represented.
Timber sale layout- which includes all considerations in the management plan- This includes harvest boundaries, protection of watercourses and any sensitive areas, identifying road and skid trail layouts if necessary, and volume estimates.
Bid preparation and mailing to perspective bidders.
Preparation of contracts.
Timber sale supervision during operations.
Michigan’s Tax Abatement Programs
Michigan offers two forest products based tax reduction programs for landowners. Both programs have requirements for management plans and an understanding that these plans will be carried out.
Commercial Forest Act- This program offers a tax rate of $1.25/acre for lands that meet certain requirements in exchange for the promise of producing forest products and leaving the land open to the public for hunting and fishing. More details can be found at the following site: http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-30301_30505_34240-34016--,00.html
Qualified Forest Act- This program offers a tax reduction of about 16 mils for lands that meet certain requirements. The major difference from CFA is that the landowner is allowed to post the land as private and does not have to allow any public access. This law has recently undergone some major revisions. An example of this is that the law now allows structures to be permitted on the land with some stipulations. There are many additional changes and requirements that are explained by visiting the following website: http://michigan.gov/mdard/0,4610,7-125-1599_28740-306518--,00.html
AFM can help the landowner to determine, based on the goals and objectives in the management plan, if either of these programs will help the landowner meet their goals.
Timber Inventory and Appraisal – AFM has over 40 years experience doing timber inventories and timber appraisals in Michigan and northern Wisconsin. Whether the client has one acre or 100,000 acres, AFM can design and implement a timber inventory to meet their criteria. Timber inventories are designed to survey stand structure, age classes, species composition, and volume totals. AFM uses a number of industry standard inventory and timber cruise software packages and growth models to calculate existing and future volumes and forest conditions.
Landowner Uses for a Timber Inventory and/or Appraisal
Determine volume for potential timber sale.
Determine value for land sale.
Evaluate value for a land purchase.
Determine baseline volumes for tax purposes.
Determine value for Trust Management.
Mapping and GIS – We use multiple Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map, analyze and display spatial data. This includes aerial photo interpretation, digitizing and the use of diverse databases to create detailed maps and analyses.
Forest and habitat mapping
Aerial photo interpretation
Geographic Information System (GIS) database development and analysis
Custom Garmin GPS map layers that can be loaded directly into a person GPS unit.
Clients using our GIS services include:
Natural resource scientists
Our GIS mapping and analysis capability is used to support our foresters with forest management, timber inventory, appraisal, and urban forestry projects. GIS mapping has become an integral part of our company’s business. It helps our foresters to navigate through forest practice rules. In today’s complex regulatory climate, the analysis of spatial data before going into the field saves our clients time and money.
AFM’s foresters use GIS for:
Forest type delineation, acreage calculation and database design.
Long-range forest planning associated with timber stand and inventory information.
Determine Riparian Management Zone (RMZ) boundaries on forestlands.
Aiding in forest road construction, management and improvements.
Road Maintenance and Abandonment Plans (RMAP).
Timber harvest unit design.
Mapping wildlife habitat protection areas.
AFM has a seasoned staff of professionals with a wide range of experience and expertise in the forestry and mapping consulting fields.
Company and staff certifications include:
USDA Technical Service Provider
Society of American Foresters Certified Foresters
Michigan Registered Foresters
Association of Consulting Foresters
Managers of Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Certified Forests
Tree farm Inspectors
Board of Directors, Michigan Forest Products Council
Eric Stier, Lake States Manager
Eric Stier brings over 23 years experience to his role as AFM’s Michigan District Manager. He earned his A.S., Forest Technology, from Michigan Technological University and his B.S., Business Management, Walden University. He is a member of the Board of Directors, Michigan Forest Products Council; Chair, Forest Policy Committee, Michigan Forest Products Council, Member of the Association of Consulting Foresters, and a Registered Technical Service Provider.
Atlantic Mine, MI
45815 Highway M-26, Atlantic Mine, MI 49905
W 6582 US Highway 2, Quinnesec, MI 49876