Why Timber Stand Improvement can improve your property

Midwest Whitetail • August 09, 2023

Let's talk about Timber Stand Improvement (TSI) and how it can improve your property.

The video above shows an example of TSI in the form of a two-year-old clear-cut. There was no sunlight hitting the forest floor in that space, so the greenery and the woody browse there were very, very minimal. We opened up the canopy, and now, two years later, there is oak regeneration and the presence of doe beds in that same space. Before going in and doing TSI, you could see through this entire timber. Now you can't see more than 25 to 50 yards through it, and that is great cover for deer.

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There are two programs through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office where you can do cost-share programs and make money by improving the habitat on your property. The two programs are EQUIP, which stands for Environmental Quality Incentives Program, and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). There are multiple cost-share programs where the government will pay you money to do TSI, whether it's a heavy cut, medium cut, or light cut for timber. There are programs for red cedars, there are even programs for putting wood duck houses out on your property and getting compensated for that. If you are already doing whitetail habitat improvements on your farm, be sure to go check with your NRCS office (you can look that up per county and state), set a meeting, and go talk to them about the EQUIP programs and CSB programs.

--Midwest Whitetail