CFA hosting 'Ties to the Land' workshop

Arkville — The Catskill Forest Association, a non-profit, forestry education and membership organization located in Arkville, is hosting a workshop on successional planning for landowners.  “Ties to the Land” is being held on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hannah Mountain Resort & Country Club, Margaretville.

Most landowners are concerned about who is going to care for their forest in future generations.  Is it to be passed on through all of the family, to a select family member(s), sold, or a combination of all three of these?

However, a majority of those landowners do not have a succession plan. Effective transition is harder than one might think.  A smooth transfer takes not only passion, but preparation and planning.  Succession planning is both emotionally and legally challenging.

In the Catskills privately owned land is being transferred quickly. The age of the average landowner is increasing and is at a point where successional planning is becoming critical and too late, in many cases.  At the same time, the value of forest property has appreciated significantly.  Highly valued property may be subject to a hefty estate tax when the owners die – a liability that their heirs, in many cases, can meet only by selling the land.  

“Ties to the Land” is a workshop designed to guide family forest owners through a smooth transition process, passing their heritage on from one generation to others.  It will provide participants with the tools needed to get started.

Originated in Oregon
The program was developed in Oregon by Oregon State University and several partners.  It is made up of several learning modules that involve DVD presentations and workgroup activities.  There will be a presentation on taxes and financial planning given by the legal firm of Lavelle & Finn and presentations from landowners on their perspectives on succession planning.

There will also be time allotted for questions. The registration fee is $50 per participant.  Lunch and workshop materials will be provided.  Pre-registration by November 16 is required by calling The Catskill Forest Association Inc. at 586-3054 or e-mail cfa@catskill.net.