Planning & Technical Service
Northwest Management Inc provides balanced solutions, technical staffing, and professional services to meet the management challenges facing today’s natural systems. We value the high-level results gained through collaboration and believe sustainable solutions are achieved only through effectively balancing environmental, social, and economic values. Northwest Management, Inc. provides services backed by more than 30 years of field experience throughout the western U.S., a well-established team of resource professionals, and cutting-edge technology to achieve these results. Additionally, Northwest Management, Inc. as a company is certified as a Technical Service Provider through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
“Management approaches that anticipate and respond to change by guiding the development and adaptation of forest ecosystem structures and functions will be needed to sustain desired ecosystem services and values across large landscapes and multiple decades” – Peterson and Vose.
Chapter 1: Effects of climatic variability and change on forest ecosystems: A comprehensive science synthesis for the US forest sector. USDA Forest Service General Technical Report PNW-GTR-870, Portland, OR 265 p. 2012
Northwest Management, Inc. as a company is certified as a Technical Service Providers through the NRCS and is proficient in writing Forest Management Plans (FMPs) and private landowner Forest Stewardship Plans (FSPs). Northwest Management, Inc. develops, on average, 35+ Forest Management Plans and Forest Stewardship Plans in Idaho, Washington and Montana annually.
Forest Management plans assists landowners in identifying the goals and objectives for their land and can help protect your property from liability and ensure sustainable management into the future.
Services we provide for landowners interested in Forest Management Planning are:
- Identification of Goal and Objective
- Growth and Yield inventory and modeling
- Harvest schedule planning
- Recreational opportunity development (hiking trails, horse riding trails, ponds and more)
- Fire protection vegetation management
- Wildlife habitat condition assessment and improvements
- Identification of recommendations to meet your goals and objectives
For additional information download the 4-page Forest Management Planning “facts sheet” from the Utah State University Cooperative Extension.
Forest Stewardship plans written by Northwest Management, Inc. contain the components needed to meet necessary standards and guidelines of the Forest Stewardship Program as authorized by the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978, and its amendments. The purpose of forest stewardship planning is to encourage sustainable long-term management of nonindustrial private forest lands. The FSP program was established to provide assistance to property owners focused on multi-resource principals interested in maintaining productive and healthy forest conditions.
Services we provide for landowners interested in Forest Stewardship Planning are:
- Be verified as meeting the minimum standards of a Forest Stewardship Management Plan by a professional resource manager, and be approved by the State Forester or a representative of the State Forester.
- Document authorship.
- Clearly state property objectives
- Describe current forest condition or condition class
- Describe desired forest condition or condition class
- Include practices and activities aimed at reaching the desired forest condition or condition class
- Document a feasible strategy and timeline for practice and activity implementation
- Describe any suggested monitoring activities to be done by the forester or landowner
- Be developed for a specified management period that adequately allows for progress with the landowner’s long term stewardship objectives
- Be reviewed and renewed, revised or rewritten at the end of the specified management period or sooner as needed to be considered current
For additional information download the 10-page Forest Stewardship Program National Standards and Guidelines offered by the USDA Forest Service and partners.
Forestland Estate Planning is planning for the future beyond your time and is a critical part of forest stewardship. Without a plan many goals and objectives can be overlooked or go unfulfilled by heirs or new owners. For detailed information please visit the Estate Planning for Forest Landowners guidelines published by the USDA Forest Service for in-depth information and guidance for Forestland owners.
Northwest Management, Inc. provides a wide array of on-ground and technical resource services to assist forest landowners in estate Planning. Contact one of our professional staff for a free consultation.
Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plans
Community Wildfire Protection Planning
Northwest Management, Inc. assists organizations with the development of countywide, community-based, and tribal Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP) and updates. Our services include collaboration with stakeholder groups, coordination of public involvement through all phases of the process, various forms of risk assessment and modeling, and strategic action planning. NMI does not provide clients with a boiler-plate CWPP. Rather, we become members of the team developing a uniquely suited and feasible document that achieves the goals of the committee. At the conclusion of the planning process, completed and locally adopted documents, maps, and GIS data are delivered to the client with no copyrights held by Northwest Management, Inc.
Multi-Hazard Mitigation Planning
Northwest Management, Inc. has completed numerous countywide and tribal Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plans. Our experience has proven that a committee approach to developing hazard risk and vulnerability assessments for all types of natural or manmade hazards is the most effective way to complete comprehensive and feasible Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plans.
Our services include:
- Committee leadership
- Public involvement and education
- Risk assessment and modeling
- Analysis of resources
- Mitigation strategy formulation
- GIS data development and mapping
- Document authorship
- Committee, public, state, and FEMA review and approval.
Forest Tax Plans
Northwest Management, Inc. has assisted many landowners in Idaho, Washington and Montana with tax plan applications and management plans when or if required by your State.
In Idaho forest landowners that own over 5 acres and manage their timber for future harvest can enjoy lower taxes on their property by taking advantage of Idaho’s Forestland Taxation law. Idaho has two tax systems for forestland that provides woodland owners with property tax options which recognize their diverse ownership goals. If no tax system is chosen, forestland will be assessed and taxed at its full market value. Once the forest landowner chooses one of the forest tax systems, the designation must remain in effect until the end of the designation period. Depending on the county in which your property resides, a forest management plan may be required to qualify for a tax designation. Applications must be filed with the County Assessor before December 31 to be effective for the following year.
If no forest tax system is chosen in WA, forestland will be assessed and taxed at “highest and best use” category which commonly results in the highest possible taxes for that property.
For Forest owners with 20 acres of forestland or more and actively manage the property for future harvest Washington’s Designated Forest Tax category can be a lower tax option. This is available in every county following completion of an Application for Designation of Forestland. Some counties require a timber management plan in addition to the application.
For Forest owners with less than 20 acres of forestland and actively manage the property for future harvest, Washington’s Open Space Timber tax category can be a lower tax option. For this category each county is slightly different, but generally a landowner needs to have over 5 acres and must hire a forester to write a Timber Management Plan for the property. Landowners should be aware that there is a one year delay in tax classification changes within WA.
In Montana to receive a forest classification your property must be 15 or more contiguous forested acres and capable of producing timber that can be harvested in commercial quantity. Commercial quantity is identified as land that can produce at least 25 cubic feet of wood per acre/per year. Forested land which does not produce commercial quantities of timber is generally classified as grazing land.
Forest tax rates used by the Montana state legislature are a function of forest values established by the Department of Revenue. In 2007 Montana’s average forestland productivity tax was $0.82 per acre
Integrated Resource Management Planning
Integrated resource management plans (IRMP) are used by many tribal, state, and federal agencies to facilitate decisions for best management of lands they oversee. Successful IRMP’s require a collaborative approach to include all stakeholders, resources, and valuable information in order to produce an effective plan. Northwest Management, Inc. has been moderating and facilitating collaborative decision making and balanced resource recommendations since 1984. We accomplish this through collection of new and existing land-based information using state-of-the-art software and technology, more than 30 years of experience in forestland management, conflict resolution, resource valuation, and ecosystem function.
NMI will also prepare any National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation that often accompanies tribal and federal agency Integrated Resource Management Plans.
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Documentation
Northwest Management, Inc. assists clients in all natural resource disciplines in meeting the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Our staff has the breadth of education and expertise to complete all phases of NEPA documentation including purpose and need development, scoping, analysis, and drafting decisions. Our goal is to facilitate completion of the NEPA process in a timely and effective manner for each project through development and analysis of balanced alternatives with regard to public, private, and state/federal needs.
NMI provides preparation of:
- Categorical Exclusions
- Environmental Assessments
- Environmental Impact Statements
Natural Resource Condition Assessment
A Natural Resource Condition Assessment (NRCA) includes analysis of current and potential threats and stressors to natural areas and resources of interest and provides recommendations for reduction or mitigation of identified impacts or degraded conditions. Using the latest technology and rapid assessment protocols to collect, analyze, and report up-to-date point-in-time land and resources conditions, our staff can provide in-depth, accurate, and valuable management recommendations to achieve or maintain the desired future condition.
Northwest Management Inc. has completed numerous NRCAs including both State and Federal jurisdictional areas including:
- Big Hole National Battlefield
- City of Rocks National Reserve
- Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve
- Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument
- John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
- Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area
- Minidoka Internment National Monument
- Nez Perce National Historical Park
- Whitman Mission National Historic Site
Additional Professional Services
NMI takes pride in leading the way toward balanced natural resource management through our work in planning, conservation, environmental auditing, alternative energy, and carbon sequestration. The culture of NMI requires working face-to-face with our customers and the diversity of technical expertise offered by our professional staff allow us the ability to provide complete or “turnkey” services for all projects from a family woodlot to a multi-state forest.
Feasibility Study Services
A feasibility study is an important step in natural resources for both project and business development. Information that helps to quantify and define objectives tasks and alternative project scenarios will offers options that mitigate unforeseen circumstances. Feasibility assessments describe the technical processes including size, location, kind of inputs, resources and timelines needed for a project as well as information describing the nature or state of the industry, target market and/or market segments that will add or yield the most value.
Some of our feasibility study services are:
- Timber sale or acquisitions
- Economic analysis
- Growth and drain assessment
- Wood basket analysis
- Due diligence
- …and many more.
Forest landowners invest a tremendous amount of effort growing, protecting, and enjoying their forests. Forests are long-term investments and provide a tie to the land for generations. Landowners wanting to protect their investment and ensure the land will remain forested rather than being subdivided or developed can place their land in a conservation easement. Each easement is tailored to the needs of the landowner and can focus on the traditional uses of the land such as wildlife habitat, grazing, tree growing, or aesthetics.
For many years, NMI has provided the information needed for landowners to qualify for a variety of conservation easements. This information generally establishes the baseline condition of the property through measurement and inventory of current conditions as well as coordination of appraisals and completion of a property-wide management as part of the application process.
Some of the conservation easements our clients participate in are:
- Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
- Spokane Land Trust
- Gallatin Valley Land Trust
- Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks
- Montana Land Reliance
- The Nature Conservancy
- And many State Forest Legacy Programs that offer easements
Northwest Management, Inc. (NMI) provides services for landowners and companies interested in meeting the certification standards for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), Chain of Custody (CoC), and ISO 14001.
NMI has 7 trained Environmental Management Systems Lead Auditors that are conducting Chain of Custody, Forestry Management, and Procurement Program third party audits.
NMI has provided expert professional audit services to landowners and industry participants throughout the United States and Canada. Our experience provides our clients with an excellent certification resource for the establishment, training, and implementation of certification programs for their forest operations, procurement systems, and Chain of Custody programs. Our staff can assist in preparing your program to meet the certification standards and provide internal audits to keep the operation in compliance and staff up-to-date when modifications and revisions are implemented.
Cooperative White Pine Seed Orchard
Northwest Management, Inc. manages the R.T. Bingham White Pine Seed Orchard. This seed orchard produces blister rust resistant western white pine seed. Beginning in the 50’s and 60’s, rust-resistant seedlings developed by the USFS Intermountain Research Station were planted at the orchard site. The orchard is a co-operative effort of several agencies, under the umbrella of the White Pine Species Group of the Inland Empire Tree Improvement Cooperative.
**If interested in ordering White Pine Seed from the orchard, please contact us.
Many groups or organizations do not have the time and resources necessary to pursue the projects and action items recommended in their various planning documents or brainstorming sessions. Northwest Management, Inc. often assists counties, cities, fire departments, and other entities with project development and grant writing. NMI has a myriad of professional staff skilled in all aspects of natural resource and risk management that are available to provide the required expertise to the development of a successful grant project. NMI offers extensive support starting from the initial project planning phases to researching available funding opportunities to submitting grant proposals on behalf of the client. Often, the fee for our services can be included in the grant funding request; thus, there is no upfront cost to the client.