The Massachesetts Forestry Reformation of '98

KMorrisD kmorrisd at
Sat Aug 29 07:31:08 EST 1998

Joseph Zorzin <redoak at> wrote:

>Karl also made a copy of that, and a collection of messages from a
>previous thread he started a few months ago about forester licensing,
>and a cover letter- and sent these items to all the consultants- about
>130 or so.

I also sent out Joe's excellent letter to our state `management` forester about
consultant contracts, posted previously to this newsgroup.

>Sometime soon, the next act in this play, will be a posting on the doors
>of the state offices a long list of reforms that are long overdue- the
>modern equivalent of Martin Luther's posting his "99 Thesis" to a
>cathedral door in Germany, which began the Reformation.

Some of the questions that we are pondering in preparing our own little list of
`reforms` are:

1) Is it possible to `reform` such a disfunctional bureaucracy?  Or does it
have to be entirely eliminated? This is especially relevent as any `reform`
would leave in place most, if not all, of the people who have made it what it
is today.  In other words, can you teach an old forestry bureaucrat new
procedures? <G> 

 2) Would a system of incentives/commissions for state forestry functions be a
reasonable alternative?  It would seem appropriate to limit the state
`management` foresters' budget to 25% of returns--instead of the current 300%
(plus or minus).  But how might a system of incentives for `service` foresters
work?  Commissions on referrals to consultants?  Or should they simply required
to recover their budget costs in fees charged to landowners, logger and
consultants?  Other methods? 

3) What role would forester licensing play in all this?  What would REAL
forester licensing look like?  Should an association of licensed foresters
become the new center of power in setting policies and practices in the state?

4) How about cost-sharing programs?  Should they be reformed so as to give
better pay to consultants, or should they be eliminated entirely?  They are
essentially a form of welfare for wealthy people, and they perpetuate the false
notion that forestry is not profitable, thereby keeping forestry a marginal

What do you think?



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