Mike Hagen mhagen at
Wed Feb 4 12:57:01 EST 1998

Don Staples wrote:
> J. Fiske wrote:
> >
> > What is the going rate / acre in your part of the world for forest
> > inventory? (I know, I know, it depends ...)
> >
> > I just quoted several inventory and appraisal jobs, and thought it might
> > be interesting to see what this type of work goes for in other regions.
> >
> > Also, I'm about to update my cruise processing software (my current
> > program is DOS - based and is not happy since I moved to Windows '95). I
> > do primarily prism cruises.Prism factor is variable, depending on the
> > cruise design. It'd be nice if the package were also capable of handling
> > timber sale tally processing, as well. Anyone have any good suggestions?
> > Or is there something I should stay away from?
> >
> Howdy, from Texas.
> Anti trust statement in effect.  The following are estimates of services
> rendered as described by J. Fiske.  Caution should be used in
> considering these may or may not be factual, actual or very satisfactual
> to my income and well being.
> I, too, prism cruise, I, too, have software that I developed to handle
> what I call "blow up" of cruise data, that will dove tail into a sales
> tally.  I say I developed software, not quite, I used simple spread
> sheet calculations to handle the number crunching, made templats, and
> improve as I go.
> Anyway, there are, as you noted, the depends.  Cruise go from $1.50 acre
> for a tax run through, $4.00 an acre for volume estimates prior to a
> sale (marked only, in 30 years I have sold one tract from a cruise
> (hated every minuet of it, didn't get hurt, but hated it), and $8.50 per
> acre for some complex federal (National Monument) bids.  First visit to
> a track over 50 acres within an hour or so drive runs $1.50 an acre,
> more or less, to get my foot in the door.  If cruised for a sale, that
> is deducted from sales income, this allows a little interum payment
> waiting for the sale to get done.  At these rates I win and lose bids,
> taking slightly more than I lose.
> As you know, every job is different, some cruise jobs are by the hour,
> day, flat rate, contract rate, etc.  There are some jobs you couldn't
> melt and pour me into, at any rate, usually for the feds.  I cut rate
> for long term  clients where I have a file of data already on hand. Have
> worked one client for 32 years, and have stand data for that period,
> with some 5 sales involved.
> Price structure is usually not talked about locally because of
> anti-trust, yet the word is usually spread by means of the bid process.
> Estimates are always rough, and I have been burned on some cruises
> (inventory, if you would) because of miss-quoted prices.
> God I love my job!
Where are you located Mr. Fiske? My news feed has been messed up for
days so I've got to reply via Don's note. I've checked into many cruise
programs and haven't found many that were easy, intuitive or useful
outside their design region. It's not that trees are shaped differently
in different parts, its the grade/sort/log length customs that vary.
 Formula based programs are fast and compact and usually in DOS, but
with pentium windows machines, volume based on lookup tables is just as
fast. And these can use proprietary volume/yield tables that are local
and time tested. Very good for a company to develop for its in-house
needs. As a consultant who has to travel and carry my tools, I prefer a
DOS formula-based program myself. 

Cruise rates are some what higher in the northwestern US than Texas. 
Per day rates are commonly used ($225+) and the amount of ground covered
depends on the statistical demands of the intended use and the
variability of the timber types. An uniform even aged stand can be
inventoried relatively quickly. Patchy mixed stands can be the opposite
although stratification helps tremendously. 

A good inventory program will allow stratification at as many levels as
needed. A great program will use "stand patchiness" as a factor and even
support ties to GIS.  

Then you need a young fella to run up and down the hills and do the
work. And when he complains, you say "What, and with every day a picnic
in the woods?!"

Mike H.

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