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Forest Productivity Program
The Forestry Productivity Program (FPP) provides financial assistance to eligible landowners for establishing and improving a crop of trees. This program helps offset a landowner’s expenses by sharing the cost of implementing specific forestry practices designed to produce a timber crop.
In 2013 the program approved 268 applications covering 21,767 acres for a total of $1.8 million for reforestation activities. Funding, which is based on severance tax revenues, is over $42 million since 1998.
Cost-share payments cover 50 percent of the total cost of implementing one or more forestry practices, not to exceed a maximum limit set for each individual practice. Eligible landowners can receive up to $10,000 of FPP assistance each fiscal year.
FPP assistance is available to landowners in all Louisiana parishes who own a minimum of five contiguous acres suitable for growing a commercially valuable timber species. There is no maximum size of ownership limiting a landowner’s participation in the program. Applications for FPP assistance are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Each landowner who participates in a FPP cooperative agreement with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) shall be required to maintain the forestry usage for a period of 10 years. If land is sold, conveyed, etc. before the end of the agreement, the original recipient of funds is bound unless the new owner assumes responsibility in writing.
Six Steps for the Forestry Productivity Program
- Application: Applications are available from LDAF foresters, industry foresters, forestry consultants or foresters from other governmental agencies. A non-refundable application fee is required.
- Management Plan: A professional forester, trained in Louisiana’s FPP, prepares a management plan stating the practice(s) and acres requested.
- Approval: The plan and requested practice(s) are submitted and approved by an LDAF forester. The application is then forwarded to the state office.
- Authorization: The landowner will receive a notification letter that the practice(s) funding has been authorized. The landowner is responsible for making the necessary arrangements to implement each practice (e.g., contract with vendor, order seedlings, etc.). The landowner must notify the LDAF forester prior to beginning any practice.
- Completion: As each practice is completed, the landowner notifies the LDAF forester, who then makes final inspection of the work to ensure that the practice(s) has been applied in compliance with FPP standards.
- FPP Payment: The landowner provides the LDAF forester with copies of all receipts pertaining to practice(s) completed. This information is forwarded to the state office for payment.
Forestry Practices Eligible for FPP Assistance:
- Planting or Seeding
- Objective: To establish a crop of trees by planting or seeding pine or hardwood. This practice includes the cost of seedlings, seed, labor, and if needed, site preparation.
- Post-planting site preparation is allowed to reduce or control undesirable vegetation within the first growing season of an established crop of trees.
- Site Preparation for Natural Regeneration
- Objective: To prepare an area in order for natural regeneration to become established. This practice includes the appropriate method(s) of site preparation.
- Control of Competing Vegetation
- Objective: To release an existing crop of desirable trees from undesirable vegetation. This practice includes the application of chemical, pre-commercial thinning, and release of longleaf pine seedlings by burning.