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consultant contracts

Joseph Zorzin redoak at forestmeister.com
Wed Aug 19 05:52:48 EST 1998

Karl Davies wrote:

> There are some people with recent forestry degrees, who call themselves
> consulting foresters, who would work for that rate.

Well, what really counts is whether they have the highly esteemed
"forestmeister license" which I only offer to those with vast
experience. It should be a requirement of those that the DEM hire. <G>

> I think that's really what DEM is looking for: forestry technicians.
> They just aren't straightforward enough to come out and say it.

Like the way the military prefers 18 year olds for the obvious
advantages. <G>

> > 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.
> Excellent idea!  Hire them back at $22 per hour for time they actually
> spend in the woods--no benefits, no expenses, no secretarial, no
> office.

Hmmm... but that's so cruel, Karl. They'd all have to lower themselves
several socio/economic classes, all the way down to the level of
forestry consultant. After all, Karl, the obvious painless way to reform
government is to not reform it, but to have slaves... I mean consultants
do the work. This method succeeded below the Mason-Dixon line for
centuries. And we know of course that most plantations took real good
care of THEIR "consultants". Heck, they didn't' even charge them for
food and housing. <G>

> There are data from the National Association of State Foresters at
> http://www.teleport.com/~rot/sfordata.html (Thoreau Institute) which
> indicate that in 1993, DEM state forester costs were 151% of `total user
> fee revenue,` which includes timber sales AND all other income.  I
> believe timber sales are down considerably since 1993, but personnel and
> costs are at least the same.  I wonder what the cost percetage is now:
> 200%? 300%? 400%? 500%?

Not a very good rate of return for the taxpayers. Too bad the
politicians have their ears shut to this stuff. Oh well, they've already
done their duty in recent years by crushing those criminals- the welfare
mothers with all those kids. Having succeeded at beating down the
weakest members of our society, no need to look too hard at real red
blooded American white folk, like the state bureaucracies- for further

> My TOTAL fees for large landowners (with timber and growing stock of
> comparable size and quality as the state forests) are in the range of
> 15%-25%.  This includes inventory, appraisal, financial analysis,
> management planning, boundary blazing and painting, timber marking and
> sales administration.

Wow, I suggest you raise it to 300%. Oh, you don't think your clients
will like that? Of course, I forgot, they'll actually know about it,
unlike the taxpayers of our state.

> Washington State gets all their forest management work done for under
> 25% of total revenues. There are a few other states that are in the same
> range of efficiency.  See the Thoreau Institute webpage.  Why is
> Massachusetts so inefficient?

Now that's a long story. I have several volumes of notes going back 25
years, but I'll leave THAT issue alone for now. It might be too
disturbing to a few people.

> DEM has 8 full time `management foresters.`  The last time they did an
> inventory for the state forests was 1979--and they subcontracted the
> work!  So what do these people do all day?  On our taxpayer tab?

Karl, some things are not for us to know. They are the great mysteries
of life. Like, is there really a God? What makes women tick? And what
goes on in the DEM? Some stones are better not turned, for fear of what
we might find under them.

> 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.
> I don't think that's possible.  But I'll be interested to see any
> attempts.  Thanks for taking the initiative, Joe.

Yes, I'll be keeping a journal of this entire thread, and publish it
eventually on my web site and in a book I'm working on. And... have you
noticed that whenever you read any forestry literature there is never a
hint that the forestry community isn't one big happy family? Like Pravda
and Izvestia in the Soviet Union until it's final days continued to talk
about the Workers Paradise. Now in Russian newspapers the truth has come
out. Perhaps forestry literature will someday also become so
enlightened, rather than continue to give us the old boring party line.

And when the election season is here, it might be of interest to the
public to know how our politicians have responded to this.

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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