Forester Licensing

mcour at telxon.com mcour at telxon.com
Wed Mar 4 09:02:13 EST 1998


In article <34FC7498.EB4D63E9 at forestmeister.com>,
  Joseph Zorzin <redoak at forestmeister.com> wrote:

>
> 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.

I agree that sugar mapleing is closer to farming, but there are enough aspects
of forestry involved in it that it might be possible for a liscensed forestery
consultant to use the liscensing regulations to squeeze business away from a
sugar mapleing consultant without a liscense in forestry.

And what about Christmas tree farming?  Would I need a forestery liscense to
earn a living as a consultant to Christmas tree farmers?  Should I?

> 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.

And the ony thing requiring a teacher's certificate does is define the word
"teacher."  The only thing requiring an engineering liscense does is define
the word "engineer."  I believe that I'm qualified to do both, but I am not
liscensed to do either.  I'm just not comfortable with the government defining
words.

The FTC defines words used in labeling and advertising all the time.  Frankly
I have mixed feelings about it.  It makes sense that a product advertised as
"fat free" have less than a certain amount of fat, and that one advertised as
"fresh" not have been frozen.  But some of the other word games the FTC plays
are less obvious.  Almost every word that is used in advertising is defined
and tightly regulated by the FTC.  There's a fine line between truth and
freedom of speech.  I'd rather the liars be sued in civil court than have
government bureaucrats running around defining words and playing speech
police.

Suppose the forestry liscensing law reads something like this:

1. Only liscensed foresters can claim to be foresters or perform
consulting forestry work.

2. Forestry work includes management of timber planting, timber sales, and
timber management.

If I am planting a stand of sugar maples, I can probably only hire a liscensed
forester.  If I'm thinning an existing stand of sugar maples or Christmas
trees, I can probably only hire a liscensed forester (as opposed to a maple
sugaring or Christmas tree farming expert.)  I can see that there would be
potential conflicts lke this in areas where forestry overlaps with farming,
nurserying, and even landscaping.  Bureaucrats have an amazing ability to
twist regulations so they can control things.

In my 30 years, I have developed what I call "Michael's rule of bureaucrats:"

If you ask a bureaucrat whether he has the authority to tell you whether or
not you can do something, he ALWAYS answers YES.

Michael Courtney


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