UPDATE: The sign-up period for the Emergency Forest Restoration Program ends May 9. Please contact the Farm Service Agency office in the county where your timber was damaged to enroll. Also, be aware that some larger landowners who do not qualify for other forms of assistance may be eligible under this program.
Additional resources for assessing damage, management options, and tax issues are available from the South Carolina Forestry Commission at http://www.trees.sc.gov/.
Early estimates show that 25,000-35,000 acres of forest land
in South Carolina were severely damaged by ice in February 2014 and will need
to be salvaged and re-planted. The
Emergency Forest Restoration Program may help pay up to 75% of the cost of
reforestation for landowners with property in one of the 25 counties hardest
hit by the storm.
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is now accepting applications for assistance through the Emergency Forest Restoration Program. Although funding is not yet approved, landowners can begin the process by contacting the FSA office in the county where their property is located. In order to ensure eligibility for assistance, landowners are encouraged to sign up with FSA and obtain advice from a SC Registered Forester before beginning salvage of damaged timber.
Landowners should not delay in contacting FSA. A specific sign-up period will be announced in the near future and may be as short as 30 days. The Farm Service Agency Emergency Forest Restoration Program web page has more information about the program, eligibility and how to sign up at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=home&subject=diap&topic=efrp
Some landowners may also qualify for additional programs that can help with recovery from ice damage or reforestation.
Local FSA offices can assist landowners with filling out the required FSA-848 form, getting any information necessary, and referral to the local SC Forestry Commission office if a forest management plan is needed. It is helpful for landowners who are not already enrolled with FSA to bring a property deed, plat map, and forest management plan if available.
Farm Service Agency local offices can be located by selecting your county on the map at
http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=sc&agency=fsa or by calling the state FSA office at 803-806-3820.
Steps for Landowners
If you have additional questions about this announcement, please contact Guy Sabin at 803-798-4170 or [email protected].