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

Joseph Zorzin redoak at
Fri Dec 5 14:11:16 EST 1997

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>

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.

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

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