Planning helps landowners keep forest land intact

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BRATTLEBORO — Woodlands for Wildlife and the Windham Regional Woodland Association are teaming up to offer special "pop-up" forums on Passing Lands.

There will be two sessions offered on Tuesday, March 10, at the Winston Prouty Campus - one from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and the other from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

In the United States, millions of acres of family-owned forest land will change hands. Many landowners say they want to keep the land in the family and pass it on to the next generation or at least keep it intact, but few have taken steps to do so. Pop-up organizers say the cost of not planning and future tax burdens may put your land's ownership in jeopardy. There are many pieces to planning the passing of land. It is a process of financial, legal, and emotional dimensions. By researching and planning ahead of time, you can ensure your wishes are met and minimize the financial costs and emotional challenges while securing your woodland legacy.

The Pop-up is a forum designed for landowners with more than 30 acres. It is operated much like speed dating. The evening allows landowners and their family to rotate between professionals that might be enlisted to help along this journey. These include a lawyer, financial planner, family mediator, consulting forester, land trust representative and a landowner who has conserved their land.

The forum gives the landowner an opportunity to ask specific questions to their situation. Perhaps they are wondering what to do if they have two or more heirs or questions about current use or establishing an easement. A landowner can ask introductory questions to determine how these professionals can assist them with a plan. Landowners can investigate and learn about a variety of current management opportunities and future outcomes for the property.

This could include steps to keeping the land in the family to another agreed-to outcome.

Space is limited. Register by calling Lisa Sausville at 802-877-2777 or e-mail lisa@vtcoverts.org.

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