field skills lacking? was Stumpage vales, was :Ignorance Tax

Michael Hagen mhagen at
Fri Dec 5 14:44:49 EST 1997

Joseph Zorzin wrote:
> Michael Hagen wrote:
> >
> > > I agree that most foresters can't grade standing trees.
> > snip good stuff>>
> > >
> > I hope that this hasn't become universal!  I've noticed over the years
> > (and I've been cruising since 1970, before I got into riparian stuff)
> > that, ahem, foresters from the four year schools were rather shall we
> > say, inept when actually out in the woods. They often had interesting
> > variation on their grade and defect calls, were hopelessly optimistic as
> > far as sorts, and strained to close a traverse better than 1 in 90. But
> > they made good "burros." {;)    that's hard hat on, grinning
> >
> Have you done logging or sawying? I think that's the best way to learn
> tree grading. My grading system consists of good, bad, and ugly. <G>
Had the dubious honor of beginning woodslife as a choker setter while
still in high school, then working my way up the food chain. Only went
to collitch much later and then found out I liked it. 

> I suppose a forester could learn to do this, and of course the stumpage
> buying forester has too, but all I gotta do is say, "whadayawanna pay me
> fer these here trees?" The guy that pays the most gits'em; don't make no
> difference to me what's in'em. <G>
> > Now I know that a good education covers much more than field forestry
> > and I'm happy for all those who worked their rears off for their BS and
> > better, but, often the best woods skills were had by the lowly Forest
> > Techs, whose two years in bondage were equivalent to the last two years
> > of the BSers, plus loads of field work. They also tended to enjoy being
> > outdoors in all weather, oddly enough. Around here, any one who calls
> > himself a cruiser had better be within 3% volume on grades and sorts or
> > he's outta here...
> The subject of the 2 vs 4 yr. degree is an ancient one around here too.
> There is definitely a class structure about it which I think isn't
> warranted by the facts- that most of the 2 yr guys that go into industry
> have to work MUCH harder that the burros and generally much harder than
> consultants. It goes along with my semi socialist perspective that those
> with the least socio-economic status deserve the most. Course I'm as
> lazy as an old grizzly bear. I just want to go hunt once a month, and
> feast, then go take long naps.
> Ah, there's the life.  Reminds me of why I got into this silly business. Every day a picnic in the woods. And it actually does satisfy as much as a "real" job would.

> -------
> "The only forestry web page in the otherwise sophisticated state of
> Massachusetts"

More information about the Ag-forst mailing list