forestfair at aol.com
Sun Oct 26 22:32:06 EST 1997
Michael Hagen wrote:
>A recurring problem that consultants face is competion from loggers,
>company procurement agents and free "agency" foresters. It's hard for
>the average landowner or even municipality to pass up "free" foresters.
>The abysmal condition of most non-industrial second growth shows that
>for the most part, they got what they paid for.
This is a big problem over here on the "right coast" as well. Much of the
forested private land in upstate New York is owned by farmers, or former
farmers. When they bought their farms, the timber was just a small woodlot.
Over the years, some good timber has been growing in more remote sections of
the property, but the farmer, knowledgable about field crops, does not realize
that he has something of value until a logger comes along and offers him a sum
that sounds pretty good. Too often, this is what happens:
1. Dishonest Logger offers farmer unrealistically-high figure, much higher
than Honest Logger offered; they shake hands, logger cuts, and either is never
seen again, or comes back with a small sum, saying the timber wasn't worth as
much as he had thought it was.
2. Neighboring farmer sees logging being done at the farm of Farmer #1 and
asks him how the logging went. Farmer #1, ashamed to have been taken, or even
unaware that he had been taken, tells his neighbor that it was a fine deal for
him. So Dishonest Logger covers the area, until finally someone wakes up and
smells the sawdust, and the logger moves on to another territory. But he'll
be back in the area in 8-12 years, and start all over.
In investigating a timber theft on our property, I talked to many farmers,
and found the above situation over and over. Many farmers are very
close-mouthed about things that happen to them, and it is this reluctance to
share information that allows the pattern to continue. Frequently, they had
not even told their wives what had happened!
It is the unusual landowner in our area that engages a consulting forester.
And the DEC service foresters are spread too thin, and it can take a long
time, even a couple of years, before a landowner can get a management plan
I've gotten a lot out of the timber offering discussion, as I'm in the
process of revising a timber sale contract for our own timber, which will be
shown two times in the next week (by a consulting forester).
ForestFair at aol.com
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