Proposed Forester Licensing in Massachusetts

Ron Wenrich woodtick at
Thu Jun 4 16:33:22 EST 1998

Joseph Zorzin wrote:

> If only it were that simple. There is nothing in the law that defines an
> "unlicensed forester". Everybody qualifies. So the choice is between
> licensed foresters and ANYBODY to do forestry. Name another profession
> that has such a dumb rule.

Is there no penalty for practicing without a license?

> A profession isn't a profession until society grants that group a
> license.

A license is only a way for government to regulate an activity.  It has little to
do with how professional anyone is.  The govt. grants drivers licenses and that
doesn't make you a professional driver, it only allows you to participate in that
activity, as long as you follow their rules.  Break their rules, lose your
license.  If you want licensing, govt control is what follows, not necessarily
professional acceptance.

> The reason for this failure is that the loggers and sawmills via their
> Mass. Wood Producers Assoc. have the politicians and the burros in their
> pockets- and these guys don't want anyone telling them how to "manage"
> forests- it's an old story around here- the loggers consider foresters
> to be carpetbaggers.

Most mill owners and loggers have come up by working through the system.  Higher
education is an oddity.  Many are still using '60s solutions to '90s problems.
The view is that foresters don't bring anything to the table.  Usually, foresters
don't mark timber the way a logger would, so they don't get as much timber on a
job.  Also, bid timber is often too high to make much of a profit, especially
given their problem solving scenario.  Foresters are often devoid of risk.  Many
mills are now using foresters to buy timber, and some do an excellent job.  Others
push for the slash and run forestry, and hire foresters who will adapt to this
philosophy.  These foresters would also be licensed.

> And this refusal of society to allow foresters into the professional
> ranks continues because nationwide foresters have no real organizations
> with real leadership- because the so called leadership have THEIR
> sinecures; and selfishly do NOTHING for forestry; despite all the
> bullshit you may read about them in THIER own publications; how they're
> pushing the envelope of forestry. One has to be extremely naive to
> believe anything written in any such publications.

And I don't!


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