Proposed Forester Licensing in Massachusetts

Don Staples dstaples at
Sat Jun 6 10:14:51 EST 1998

Ron Wenrich wrote:
> Our state has taken the stance that since no one complains about bad
> forestry practices, there is no need to license foresters or loggers.  The
> consultants have fought for years, and it is no closer than it was 20 yrs.
> ago.  The state maintains a list of qualified foresters, both consulting and
> procurement, but that doesn't mean the landowner has to use them.  I doubt
> if a majority of landowners are even aware of the list.  Even without
> licensing we are still able to grow timber twice as fast as removals.  I
> wonder what we could do if timber production would be a motivating factor in
> owning forestland?

Texas landowners have been complaining for years about one aspect of
timberland management or the other.   One area is a good example, timber
theft.  When the heat got bad enough, the state set up a "Timber Theft
Hotline" to their law enforcement personnel.  You could report a theft,
but not get information on known thieves.  ONce reported, it died.  The
state allowed one LEO to investigate, and would pick and choose those
cases it desired to prosecute.  To their credit, the state attempted to
place legislation that would make timber theft a crime, and the
politicians came up with some stop gap contractual malfeasance claptrap
that did not make it any easier to prosecute, in fact recognized that a
contract of any nature throws the case out of criminal into civil law. 
So now we have a flurry of one line contracts used by the timber pimps
to cover any action they want to take.  "It's all just a
misunderstanding, heres our contract".

Instead of taking a hard line on theft, they wimped out and opened new
doors for the thieves.  From what I have seen on licensing in other
states, a repeat of the theft bills would follow any effort by the state
to create licensing in Texas.

Don Staples
UIN 4653335

My Ego Stroke:

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