State Forestry

Ron Wenrich woodtick at lebmofo.com
Thu Jan 1 07:20:27 EST 1998



Joseph Zorzin wrote:

> Ron Wenrich wrote:
> >
> >
> >   Pennsylvania DNR has plenty of info and is willing to part with it, as long
> > as someone asks.  I've had a lot of contact with these folks, and they never
> > treated me badly.  The work they do on State forest land is very commendable,
> > and is an excellent example for private and corporate landowners.
> > Unfortunately, they don't sell that part of their ability.  Consultants forced
> > the State out of helping landowners many years back.  I believe it was a step
> > backwards.  Landowners contact the State, then are given a long list of
> > consulting and corporate foresters.  This leads to confusion on the part of the
> > landowner, and often, nothing gets done.  I have less than glowing remarks
> > about the Game Commission and the management of their 1 million acres.
>
> Sounds like the state guys aren't trying very hard. They should visit
> the landowner and act like forestry missionaries- discussing the good
> and bad about forestry- and how to get the good results- the tax angles-
> wildlife, etc. Then, after they've "softened up" the landowner, then
> give them the list of consultants.

I wouldn't say they don't try hard.  Our state is broken into 20 regions.  Each
region has 1 service forester devoted to landowner assistance.  Consultants have
forced the State into only offering 2 days of assistance per year for any given
landowner.  That only allows for an initial inspection and a landowner conference.
The inspection is just a walk-through.  Any recommendations would be given without
any data to support it.  There are probably a couple hundred consultants and
corporate foresters working in the State.  The list has all foresters working in that
region.  Some areas get to be quite extensive - 50 or more foresters.  In addition,
it lists jobs these guys say they will do.  Of course, the consultants have a list a
mile long, which adds to more confusion.  The corporate foresters limit themselves to
forest management and maybe a few others.  Then you have the problem of name
recogition.  Most landowners never heard of any of the consultants and only a few of
the corporate foresters.  Who do you think the landowners are more apt to contact?
The State is not allowed to recommend any particular forester - consultant or
corporate.

The extension foresters have their hands tied.  It would be similar to a consultant
marking a stand of timber, then giving the names of all the loggers and mills that
may possibly be interested in cutting the timber, and walking away.  If the landowner
is motivated, it works.  I don't know if it is the State's responsibility to motivate
the landowner for the sake of a market sector (the consultant).  The State is in the
business for landowner assistance, not forester marketing.

RDW





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