Forester Licensing

Joseph Zorzin redoak at
Tue Mar 3 16:22:32 EST 1998

mcour at wrote:
> Some further points on liscensing professionals:
> Liscensing often keeps the most poorly qualified people out of
> a profession.  But it can also keep out the most qualified people.
> You see, I have a PhD in Physics from MIT and I would dearly love
> to teach physical science at the High School or College level.  There
> is a serious glut of Physicists on the market right now, so the college
> teaching jobs are few and far between.
> The problem with liscensing is that I would need to get a teaching certificate
> (jump through a bunch of hoops, go back to school, student teach, etc.) to
> teach at a public high school.  The teaching certificate is not needed to
> teach at private schools, and I've had two offers from private Christian
> schools, but both were for less than half of what I'm making as an engineer.
> Public schools can usually do much better and there are several public schools
> in the area that could pay a teacher with my credentials about 80% of what I'm
> making now.  That's enoug to pay the mortgage.  A friend of mine who teaches
> Physics in a local suburb actually makes about the same salary as I do.
> It's silly when you think about it.  I'm qualified and could easily be hired
> to teach at any College or University in the country, but I can't teach in a
> public high school.  I understand the concerns about a PhD's ability to
> interact and communicate with high school students,  but these issues are
> better answered by a school's principal, faculty, and administration than by a
> teaching certificate.

It makes me wonder just what gets taught in those education classes
that's so important. Certainly the education establishement is one of
the strongest in America- I heard that just recently the 2 biggest
teacher unions joined together making it one powerful union. I'm for
good teachers but I'm not so sure the union gives us good teachers. My
own esperience growing up was that they all sucked but one- my high
school physics teacher who got fired because he refused to teach a
course in public health issues for which he said he was totally

> So. depending on the particulars, professional liscensing can keep qualified
> people out of a profession, as well as keeping out the riff-raff.  In addition
> to the issue described above, depending on state-to-state liscensing
> differences, it could be very difficult for a professional in one state to
> move his practice to another state.  Any lawyers out there ever try to move to
> Louisiana?  Depending on the two states involved, it is ofen difficult for
> teachers to move.
> I'm not sure what's involved in liscensing foresters, but be careful lest you
> keep qualified foresters from practicing in your state.  Or is that really
> your true motivation?  Let's make forestry a club that's hard to get into so
> we'll have less competition and can charge higher prices.  Now, I am not
> accusing foresters of this, it's just that in other areas I have strongly
> suspected this as a motivation of professional liscensing, especially when the
> professionals themselves tend to be strong proponents of liscensing.

Every other profession does indeed limit competition, raising their
salaries and that's why we have a middle class in America. Any reason
why forestrs shouldn't join the club? What is the AMA and the BAR, if
not America's most powerful labor unions; true Mafia protection rackets.

> As a seperate example of professional liscensing gone awry.  A young woman was
> recently fined in Cleveland for practicing hair styling without a liscense.
> It seems that she was skilled at a creating a particular ethnic hairstyle, and
> had a number of clients who paid her big bucks for the service.  Neither her
> nor her clients were displeased with her lack of a liscense, but her
> competitors were jealous and reported her.  The legal wheels turned and she
> was fined.  In an interview, the young woman was reluctant to take the time
> and expense to attend a beauty school (required for the liscense) which would
> teach ner nothing about the ethnic hairstyle in which she specialized.  Why
> should she pay and take time away from her lucrative profession to learn stuff
> she doesn't need to know?

Yuh, I never could understand licensing barbers and hair stylists. I
can't imagine how that got started.

> I would bet that there are a lot of analogues to these examples in the
> forestry profession, but I'm not familiar enough with forestry to point them
> out.  But I expect that most foresters will see them if they consider the
> issue carefully.
> Here's a stab at one.  You pros tell me whether it's a fantasy or a real
> possibility.  Suppose a guy has been in the maple syrup business for his whole
> life.  He's successfully implemented every stage from site selection, to
> planting, thinning, tapping, boiling, and marketing.  Having gained the
> knowledge to set up and operate a very successful maple syrup operation, a
> newcomer to the maple syrup business wants to hire him as a consultant to help
> him get into the business.  The problem is that some of the consulting work
> overlaps with forestry and our experienced syrup producer isn't liscensed.
> Now our maple expert probably knows much more about the maple sugaring aspects
> of forestry than most liscensed foresters, but he can't consult for the
> newcomer without going back to school (or even going to school in the first
> place), taking tests, and getting liscensed as a forester.

Sugar mapleing is more farming than forestry. Forestry core work is
handling timber sales and preparing forestry mgt. plans. There really
isn't anyone other than foresters who should or could be doing this.
Less than perfect sugar mapleing wouldn't cause any environmental
destruction, but bad logging could cause fires, erosion, and the long
term decrease in economic forest production. Our only conflict is with
those loggers who consider foresters carpetbaggers.

The ONLY thing forester licensing will do in Mass. is to define the word
forester; which of course was already by Websters. So, a logger can no
longer advertise himself a forester unless he is one.

More information about the Ag-forst mailing list