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consultant contracts

Joseph Zorzin redoak at forestmeister.com
Tue Aug 18 14:46:29 EST 1998

To Bill Rivers
Program Supervisor
Management Forestry
Mass. DEM

Dear Bill,

I have just reviewed your letter to consultants regarding a Request for
Response for contracts for "professional forestry services".

The general scuttlebutt among consultants is that the offered fee of
$22/hour is insufficient.

My opinion on the matter is that any organization has the privilege of
offering whatever it wants for whatever service. Fair enough.

However, to say that you are looking for "professional forestry
services" and then only offer $22/hr. (and no offer to compensate for
travel expenses) is a MASSIVE INSULT to the profession of forestry. What
person who considers himself a "professional" would work for that kind
of fee on a contract basis? NONE. What this indicates is that you and
the DEM really mean to say that you do not consider forestry consultants
to be professionals, but common laborers, and you would have trouble
finding common laborers on a contract basis at that rate. Now, that also
is fair enough if you used the term "common forest laborer". It is
obvious that you really only want students fresh out of college or any
consultant so desperate as to work for this pittance. The fact that
these foresters will be of lower quality than real forestry
professionals is of little concern to you, rather the DEM wants people
who will be easy to control; productivity has never been a huge issue in
the DEM. And... the only reason you have sent out this letter is that I
have already complained about the DEM's secret hiring of mostly students
and others with special connections; a system that could be accused of
fraud. This way, such an accusation can't be made, but nonetheless- this
is an insult to the profession- because the results are the same. The
DEM instead, should if it really needed more people, hire those people
under Civil Service in full time career positions; rather than turning
your fellow professionals into serfs; while you enjoy your middle class
benefits. Once again, the politicians don't give a dam- they already
have their piece of the action in our economy.

If "professional forestry services" are really worth only $22/hour, I
suggest to all the politicians who read this that they should fire all
the DEM foresters and rehire them on a contract basis at $22/hour, which
would result in a massive savings of a few million dollars per year.

However, the politicians have already shown that they have no concern
with reforming the state bureaucracy, especially the DEM. I challenge
the politicians to comment on this message and then be prepared for an
earful. If you have the guts and integrity to do so, you can call me at

And furthermore, I find it disgusting that those comfortable in the
forestry bureaucracies are proceeding like the rest of our society in
what is known among economists as "two-tier compensation". That is,
people doing the identical work are paid different amounts. This is now
common in many industries and bureaucracies and is a form of
exploitation. It is a selfish means of taking care of yourselves at the
expense of others. The reality of such exploitation is understandable-
it's as ancient as mankind. What is not understandable is the denial
that it is occurring, both among the perpetrators and the politicians-
neither of whom have ever in the past quarter century had the guts or
the intelligence to refute any of my criticism of the DEM, a truly
shameless bureaucracy.

And furthermore, it is common knowledge that the management foresters
HAVE NOT BEEN OVERWORKED the past several years, your entire state wide
staff having sold less timber than any decent consultant could do alone.
They should be doing this work themselves, rather than the taxpayers
paying more money for "common forest laborers". It is also common
knowledge that a major reason for hiring more people is that the more
staff you have, the more you can seek higher salaries as supervisors and
the better your pensions will be. And I accuse our lame state
politicians of stupidity for going along with this.

I challenge anyone receiving this message to refute what I say.

PS to any consultant receiving this message. Please forward this to any
other consultant who is not on the list as receiving this.

Also, mailed to the Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Agriculture
of the Massachusetts General Court

Joseph Zorzin, Yankee Forestmeister
"Still, after 18 months and counting, the only forestry web page in the
otherwise sophisticated state of Massachusetts, the Athens of the
western hemisphere."
"In wilderness is the preservation of the world."
Henry David Thoreau

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