Printing an Activity Map for Your Project

Dear tree farmers, loggers, foresters, general readers, and those folks that are apparently reading this article all the way in northern Europe and New Zealand (our stats don’t lie):

In our last newsletter, my predecessor promised salvation from the frustrations involved in creating, and occasionally losing, an editable Forest Practices Application (FPA) in portable document format (PDF). Well, how did he do? Did it work? Send me an email and let me know.

For this article, we’re moving on to mapping.  A crucial (and legally required) element of any FPA, your map shows where and how you’ll be doing whatever it is you’ll be doing — logging, building roads, etc. We get many calls here about the activity map and I intend to show you how to successfully create and print one of your very own. To start:

1  Navigate to DNR’s Forest Practices Forms and Instructions webpage.

2. Before opening the map itself, be sure you have your computer’s popup blockers disabled, otherwise when you go to print nothing will happen. I assure you, it’s frustrating. To disable popup blockers follow these instructions.

3. Once the pop-up blocker situation has been handled, click “Print an Activity Map,” which is found in the list of links under the first heading on the page (see Figure 1).

Figure 1
Figure 1

4. When the map image first appears, you’ll see our standard disclaimer statement. After clicking “Accept.” look in the upper left hand corner of the map, for the button “Map Themes” (Figure 2).

Figure 2
Figure 2

5. Click the down-arrow in the box next to Map Themes to display the various themes. Then choose “Activity Map” from the list (Figure 2-a, Map themes menu).

Figure 2-a
Figure 2-a: Map themes menu.


6. Next (and this is crucial!), you need to input the legal description of your property (Township-Range-Section). Enter this information in the appropriate boxes on the top right of the screen (circled in Figure 3). You must input them one number at a time; sometimes it takes a few seconds for the next box to catch up. If you don’t have this information readily available, you can find it through your local county tax assessor database. If you don’t input your legal description, and just zoom to your property, the print option will not work.

Figure 3
Figure 3: Township, Range and Section boxes.

7. After you enter your legal description and press “Enter”and the map should zoom to the section in which your property is located. Now, it’s time to PRINT! Click the printer icon in the top menu bar, and the “Print Map” box will pop-up. Press “Print” in the lower right of that box. (Figure 4).

Figure 4
Figure 4: Print options


8. The map will pop-up in a separate tab or window; it sometimes takes a few minutes to appear. Printing through this system automatically scales your map at 1”-1000’, which is the legally required scale. From here, it’s incumbent on you, the proponent, to find your property and map your harvest unit according to the standards laid out in the FPA Instruction Manual (Figure 5).

Figure 5
Figure 5: Map selection to print

Hopefully this worked and alleviated some of the headaches you may have experienced with printing these activity maps out. If not, send me an email and I’ll try and help you navigate the process.

by Matt Provencher, Technical Assistance Forester, DNR Small Forest Landowner Office,