Can woodlands offer more than just hunting opportunities and timber income? Developing and expanding various natural resource enterprises on your property can increase income while at the same time continue to provide recreational enjoyment. Far too often, woodland owners consider logging or timber sales as their only option for generating income. There is nothing wrong with implementing a sustainable timber harvest. However you may want to consider other possible endeavors to generate income from your property.
Unless you own considerable acreage, income from timber harvesting is periodic. With rotations stretching to 100 years on our oak and cherry forests, generating income even every 20 years can be a challenge. With property taxes, repairs, snow removal and other expenses accumulating on an annual basis, it is to the landowner’s advantage to cultivate annual income in addition to the periodic income they may be currently settling for. Identifying enterprise ventures from natural resource assets will potentially generate annual income from properties making for a more even cash flow.
Enterprises can be various business activities that range from utilizing products already established on the property to cultivation and propagation of new products. Promotion of pay to hunt or eco-tourism opportunities on ownerships could also be interesting as well as profitable natural resource based ventures.
Some annual enterprise opportunities are more common place; firewood or tapping maples for syrup production for example. Others may be less common, for instance harvesting wild mushroom or growing ginseng. Soil types, marketing availability, available investment assets, size of ownerships may all be barriers to some projects however some projects however some new options are probably available for most landowners to consider.
September 23, 2014 by Mike Schira, Michigan State University Extension