The debate

Ron Wenrich woodtick at
Thu Nov 27 01:20:49 EST 1997


> In article <65gn6m$g684 at>, "kat" <kats at> writes:
> >>:I'm afraid you are too charitable in your interpretation of the comments of
> the >>:Forestmaster.  He has repeatedly stated that landowners should be
> required by >>:law to employ foresters to manage the harvest their woodlands.
> >would like to point out that it is forestmeister ----  and i agree with him
> 100% - if >there were more foresters like joe out there our forests wouldn't be
> such a big >hideous mess right now!!!!
> <big snip>
> As a bonafide mud forester, and former woods cop, I have to stand with Paul on
> this one, Kat.  I agree that private land NEEDS more professional management.
> But, it is not right to legislate that landowners employ a consultant as a
> requirement to owning forest land.  The role of "woods cop" as I was employed
> in Alabama, was to protect landowner's property interests from fire, theft,
> insects and disease; and to give some basic guidance in management planning.
> Chief among our duties was to recommend a competant private forester
> (consultant or industry LAP).

It is not right to legislate that a any forester (consulting, industrial or
government)  is necessary to manage any private land.  The problem lies in the fact
that not all foresters are created equal.  I would not want to practice my types of
hardwood management on southern pine plantations.  I've seen poor management
carried out, even with the advice of foresters.  Foresters are no guarantee that
"the big mess" would be avoided.  I've seen good management by industrial
foresters, although it is declining due to competition.  I can say the same for
consultants.  A lot of foresters have sold the landowner into planning the next
forest before the current forest is done growing.  Yes, thinning are needed, but it
shouldn't be at the expense of crop trees.  Most mills that I've been around, are
getting smaller logs.  Very few are of minor species, in our case birch and maple.
This means that they are left to restock the woods and good growing stock is being
removed to fuel mills.  Stocking levels are being maintained by leaving trees that
should have been removed and removing trees that should be left to grow.  Foresters
have been involved in a lot of this mess.  They know how to leave the woods with
the aesthetics in tact, and this seems to be OK with the landowners.

As one forester told me, landowners deserve the kinds of management they get.  In
other words, they are too often poorly informed, even when using professional


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