Manitoba Conservation has developed the Manitoba Agro Woodlot Program, which is administered by the Manitoba Forestry Association (MFA). One of the first services that the MFA provides for a woodlot owner is the development of a Woodlot Management Plan. An extension officer tours the woodlot and, jointly with the landowner, develops the woodlot management plan. This plan describes the natural resources, the landownership goals, and recommends management possibilities.
The Manitoba Model Forest (MBMF) has partnered with the MFA in developing and delivering an education program for Manitoba’s woodlot owners. One of the first tools developed for the woodlot owner was a Managing Your Private Woodlot manual. The manual contains a menu of options, or guidelines, that private woodlot owners can use to protect the soil, water, and habitat. It addresses topics such as timber stand improvement, reforestation, riparian zones, forest soil protection, and aesthetics, while addressing issues involved in maintaining the health and ecological integrity of the woodlot.
In conjunction with the Woodlot Association of Manitoba, a demonstration site has been established near the recreational community of Grand Beach, on the east side of Lake Winnipeg. The site plan developed for the woodlot includes woodlot trails and plantation sites. The trail and plantation network allow the visitor to see sustainable forestry in action. The demonstration site also contains a classroom where workshops and seminars are conducted as part of a larger Landowner Education and Outreach Program.
The Landowner Education and Outreach Program assists woodlot owners by providing hands on education for implementing sustainable woodlot management practices. Through the use of bus tours, field days, skills-based training workshops and information seminars, landowners and woodlot operators are exposed to woodlot management techniques and opportunities. It is believed that by raising landowner awareness, requests for personalized Woodlot Management Plans will increase and sustainable management techniques will be implemented in woodlots across the province.