This program is a part of the very successful Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) system, and is a certification for private forest landowners who are practicing good management and stewardship on their forested lands. After successfully working through the FHW-A-Syst workbook a property would become “MAEAP Verified,” illustrating that the landowner is managing their property at the highest standard.
The MAEAP - FWH system is modeled after the famous American Tree Farm (ATF) System. The ATF is one of America's highest standards for forest certification. By developing the FWH system after Tree Farm the State of Michigan is ensuring that the landowners of this state will be held to the highest standard of good stewardship.
Michigan's Conservation Districts and the Forestry Assistance Program are a key part of helping landowners through the verification process. Many of the Conservation Districts around the State employ FAP foresters who are familiar with MAEAP and will be able to identify and resolve management problems, if any, that would prevent a parcel from being verified.
One of the advantages of being MAEAP-Verified is that any cost-share project application through USDA/NRCS with have a higher priority rating in the competition for cost-share funds.
For more information on the MAEAP - FHW system and the American Tree farm. Follow the links below:
MAEAP - Forest, Wetlands & Habitat Webpage
American Tree Farm System Website