Private vs Public Forest Management Costs

Joseph Zorzin redoak at forestmeister.com
Tue Aug 11 08:14:59 EST 1998


KMorrisD wrote:

(much snipped)

> I'd also like to know what the cost percentages are for state forests.  There
> are data for all states at http://www.teleport.com/~rot/sfordata.html.  But the
> data are all mixed up with different states reporting different data.
> 
> Here in Massachusetts the cost percentage appears to be about the same as the
> USFS--about 150%.  How do the more efficient states manage to keep costs down?
> Why do you think there is such a big discrepancy between management costs on
> private and public forest lands?

I think you're being too generous to the state people here. I think the
cost is more like 500-1,000% of the revenues. In my county there are 3
"Management Foresters" who work just on state land and several misc.
part timers. I doubt that in all of the '90's, they have sold $200,000
dollars of timber. The two of us together could easily do that in any
month. Factor in their salaries, benefits, vehicles, office and vast
amount of useless "supervision" of countless hire ups, secretaries,
helpers, etc., the cost for each of these 3 guys is probably close to
$100,000 per year. So in the '90's we're looking at probably something
like a couple of million bucks, while getting maybe 10% of that back in
timber sales.

I'll be happy to correct my opinion on this matter as soon as the Chief
Forester for Mass. corrects my figures, and I have no doubt he'll read
this but not reply. His email address is disabled, most likely because
he got tired of getting email from me, none of which he replied to. <G>


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