Forester Liscensing

Joseph Zorzin redoak at
Mon Jan 13 08:32:49 EST 1997

Ron Wenrich wrote:
> Liscensing isn't the answer you are hoping for.  I don't know what is,
> since good foresters are too busy battling poor foresters and amoungst
> themselves to educate the landwners who need it.
> PS  I drank the beer.

What I don't like about licensing is that - I've been in "dissagreement"
with the state of MA forestry people over numerous issues. I wouldn't be
surprised if they try to use this licensing to harrass me everytime I
dare challenge them on something. But then again being friendly with
politicians is a good way to avoid that. Our Repbulican governor Weld is
promising to make the state government work like a business. I'll
believe it when I see it- but one thing his promise has done is to put a
little fear into the hearts of the bureaucrats- since only those with
about 20 years service are now safe from the "downsizing axe". Those
"old timers" however can continue to be useless- but their numbers are

Although our licensing program won't in its current version prevent non
licensed timber brokers from continuing their poor silviculture- the
theory is that in the future- only licensed foresters will be able to
prepare "forest cutting plans" and that they'll be stamped the way a
licensed surveyor stamps his survey. At that point- we can (speaking
selfishly) do what the surveyors have done in Massachusetts- make it so
dam difficult to get the license (their test is like the bar exam) that
fewer and fewer new people join the profession. The result being that
the standard of living for surveyors in this state has gone up
dramatically in the past 20 years. Their fees are now approaching that
of liers... er- I mean lawyers.

Regarding educating landowners- I get tired doing this- it takes a lot
of time and expense- and often I never see that person again- now if
only I can charge the landowner $50/hr to educate him I'll be happy to
do so. I've been suggesting to the state "service foresters" for 20
years that they should be doing more of this. Then they look at me as if
I'm completely bonkers. It's much easier for them to do nothing but sit
in their offices waiting for me to turn in a cuttin plan or forestry tax
plan so they can earn their income by signing my work. And for that they
make something like $40,000/yr! I have suggested that when we have
licensing- it's time to give up micromanaging consultants- and put the
service foresters to work- doing "Forestry Missionary" work- so we
consultants can spend out time doing real forestry and earn a living.

More information about the Ag-forst mailing list