Managed Forest Law

Land in the Managed Forest Law (MFL) program is now both American Tree Farm System (ATFS) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. Certification indicates that lands are managed in a sustainable manner, and as a result, the wood sold from that land can be sold in the certified marketplace. Unless a landowner has opted out of certification, all non-industrial MFL landowners can sell their wood as ATFS and FSC certified.

Wisconsin's Managed Forest Law encourages sustainable forest management on private lands by providing a property tax incentive to landowners.  The MFL program encourages proper management of woodlands not only in their purposes and policies, but through a written management plan for a landowner's property. The management plan incorporates landowner objectives, timber management, wildlife management, water quality, and the environment as a whole to create a healthy and productive forest. In exchange for following a written management plan and program rules, landowners pay forest tax law program rates in lieu of regular property taxes.

The Managed Forest Law provides lower property taxes (80% discount) to landowners who own at least 10 acres of forest land, and professional forestry assistance in developing management plans if landowners engage in good forest stewardship. The program has been available since 1985, and helps preserve forest species.

Enrollment into the Managed Forest Law (MFL) program is open to all private owners of forested land. To apply for the MFL program, an MFL Petition for Designation/Conversion form must be submitted.

The following two deadlines are now open for enrollment:

•July 1, 2009, deadline for entry effective January 1, 2011
•March 1 / May 15, 2009, deadline for entry effective January 1, 2010

Make sure to research each deadline before applying and read Wisconsin's Managed Forest Law publication.

Tax rates - Managed Forest Law and Forest Crop Law

Landowners with land in the Managed Forest Law (MFL) and Forest Crop Law (FCL) programs pay MFL and FCL tax rates in lieu of regular property tax rates. The following rates are effective from 2008 through 2012.

MFL tax rates (per acre) for land entered before 2005 (1987 - 2004)

Open land (acreage share tax): $0.67
Closed land (acreage share tax plus $.90 closed acreage fee): $1.57

MFL tax rates (per acre) for land entered after 2004 (2005 and later)

Open land (acreage share tax*): $1.67
Closed land (acreage share tax plus $6.67 closed acreage fee**): $8.34

* Acreage share tax = 5% of average statewide tax on productive forest land ($33.34/acre)
** Closed acreage fee = 20% of average statewide tax on productive forest land ($33.34/acre)

Forms

Access or Download the necessary forms used for the Managed Forest Law program. A majority of the forms can be completed online; however, since signatures are required, each must be printed out, signed, and mailed to the DNR address indicated.

Contact a Service Center

Find the nearest DNR Service Center located throughout the State of Wisconsin

To be eligible for the MFL program, a landowner must have a minimum of 10 acres of contiguous land and at least 80% of that land must be forested.

A written management plan is required to enroll land into the MFL program. The management plan addresses items such as landowner objectives, timber management, wildlife management, and water quality. An MFL management plan must be written by a certified plan writer (or a DNR forester under specific circumstances).  Click here to find a forester that can write a plan for you. Or use the Wisconsin DNR Forestry Assistance Locator.

 


Contact Managed Forest Law


Wisconsin DNR Central Office
101 S WEBSTER ST
PO BOX 7921
MADISON , Wisconsin  53707
Phone: (608) 266-2621
Fax: (608) 261-4380

 

Service Area

National Program