Although your Woodland Management Plan likely calls for some woodland activities such as thinning, pruning, planting and more, your primary objectives as a woodland owner may lean more toward preservation or other non-timber values. The Maine Forest Service can help you understand the Farm and Open Space Tax Program. You may find a place in this program if your objective is to preserve a unique property. We'll help you understand and compare your choices and benefits through all the public programs available from the state of Maine.
The Farm and Open Space Tax Law provides for the valuation of land which has been classified as farmland or open space land based on its current use as farmland or open space, rather than its potential fair market value for more intensive uses other than agriculture or open space. Landowners apply to the town for consideration (or the State Tax Assessor in the case of the unorganized towns). For farmland classification, the tract must be used for farming, agriculture, or horticultural activities, and must contain at least 5 contiguous acres. The landowner must obtain agricultural income from the land. For open space classification, there is no minimum acreage, however the tract must be preserved or restricted in use to provide a public benefit by conserving scenic resources; enhancing public recreation opportunities; promoting game management; or preserving wildlife or wildlife habitat.
The Maine Forest Service also has close working relationships with land trusts throughout the state. Conservation easements and other legal strategies may best suit your purposes. The Maine Forest Service can put you in touch with local land trusts so you can be sure that you're weighing all of your choices.