Proposed Forester Licensing in Massachusetts

LRLake lrlake at
Tue Jun 2 16:34:51 EST 1998

>Can You Licensed Foresters Help Me With Some Perspective Here?!
>We recently had public hearings for the state's latest draft of the
>forester licensing regulations.  While I appreciate all the effort
>that's gone into drafting these regulations and procedures, I still have
>some major questions about whether licensing will actually improve the
>practice of forestry in Massachusetts.  As I read the proposed
>regulations, it seems quite likely that there will be very little, if
>any change--except the creation of another level of bureaucracy 
>As I understand it, even with forester licensing, the people preparing
>state-required Chapter 61 (use value assessment) plans and forest
>cutting plans won't have to be licensed foresters.  These are the only
>documents that govern the implementation of forestry practices in
>Massachussetts.  It seems bizarre that they can actually be prepared by
>anyone at all.  



As a registered Professional Forester in California, I can assure you that a
license, in the absense of any particular requirement, is worthless.  You are
right that it is just another layer of bureaucracy.

You Mass. folks need teeth in the law so it requires a licensed forester for
certain "professional" functions...I'll leave it to you to decide which.

For example, in California our licensed foresters law makes it a misdemeanor to
"act in the capacity of, or represent (oneself) as a professional forester"
without being licensed.

Further, there are many forest practice regulations which specify the use of an
RPF or supervised designee, by statute.

Good Luck,


Lawrence R. Lake, RPF
Redding, CA

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