Forester Licensing

William Jones wiljones at
Fri Mar 6 21:51:52 EST 1998

I'm glad you guys could understand my last post- sometimes it's hard to
cover everything you want to!

First off, I am in South Carolina (nothing against the NC folks!). Yes, we
do encourage consultants, but usually they pick up the BMPs quickly. Most of
the calls I get from them are for clarification on specific issues or
specific sites and how to apply the BMPs. I agree- it is much easier to get
the consultants up to speed on the BMPs, but the way it works here, the
loggers usually get the heat when something isn't done right. See, the
industries and state forestry association get a monthly report of the
logging and site prep sites that we close out (the ones that are completed
and given a complete evaluation) each month, giving the name of the logger
or contractor, and whether the job passed or failed in road construction,
streamside management zones, harvesting systems, site prep, and whether or
not there was an off-site water quality impact. After the report is sent
out, it is up to the companies (mills) to take it any further unless there
is a complaint on the tract. If company X is participating in SFI, and they
know the logger is bringing his wood to them, then they may refuse to buy
his wood until he has gotten some BMP training. From my standpoint, the bmps
are voluntary, but they aren't voluntary to the SFI companies.

As to the RCW, you can thin right through a cluster site, except during the
nesting season, which runs from April through June. And 60 acres is the
minimum acreage required. A landowner can designate up to 300 acres per
group of RCW for foraging, which translates to 10 square feet/acre. This
became a reality for us in 1989 when hurricane Hugo blasted us. Someone
asked about the midstory that develops- it usually doesn't reach pulpwood
size, because you try to keep the midstory below 15 or 20 feet, and having
some pine midstory is usually not detrimental to the bird. When you have a
dense hardwood midstory, you get a lot more competition from other
woodpeckers for the cavities, not to mention more squirrels.

One other aspect of this that I forgot to mention. It can take 3-5 years for
the RCW to complete a cavity (and they are the only woodpecker in the
Southeast that make cavities in live pines), and once a male establishes a
territory they stay for life, with or without a mate, so there is a lot of
competition for the cavities from other species (woodpeckers, squirrels,
etc..). If you have a group of birds that happen to be in your most valuable
stand, you can hire a biological consultant to install artificial cavities
in another stand or area that is suitable. This way, you can move the birds
to some extent, because they will stay in the best cavity around, and you
can harvest the area where they used to live.  I've installed these cavities
in less than 2 hours.

We just put up our web page, and the BMP manual is available online. I am
planning to add some info on the RCW soon, and the most recent BMP
monitoring results should be there in the next month or so. The address is  . Check it out.

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