A NEW Debate on the Forestry Profession

Don Staples dstaples at livingston.net
Thu May 7 10:49:53 EST 1998

Susan112 wrote:
> Forest Fair wrote:
> >Susan,
> >
> >  Are you allowed to  recommend consultants to landowners, or tell them who
> >to
> >avoid?  

> I have made direct referrals before to one consultant.. We trialed a formal
> referral system where we'd do this and if the consultant couldn't get to the
> request, he'd ask another consultant to do it.  This meant that the landowner
> would at least get a phone call from a consultant after inquiring about their
> services.  It was a bit cumbersome and not entirely fair in terms of spreading
> out the business so it was dropped.
> The only problem that I've had with a consulting forester's work revolves
> around one incident when I thought a sale was overmarked (billed on the
> percentage), thus my explanation about percentages and fees. Some consultants
> here don't balk at doing liquidation sales at the landowner's request, and I
> think that was the deal with that incident.   Anyway, I guess I've been lucky
> in that regard.  Loggers are another matter.
> Susan

State foresters are traditionally behind the curve in pricing structure,
in observing the state try to develope price figures I can testify that
in Texas, any way, the process is seriously flawed, and years behind in
conceptual vision of costs.

I have a bone to pick with state types.  I received a bid to do a
planting job on a tract.  Went and looked at the tract and found it to
have been recently pushed in place, no wind rows, no chopping, no burn,
just a tangle of stems over the ground.  I asked the state hand if any
more work would be done prior to planting, "Nope, that's it".  I bid the
tract at $110.00/acre, slightly higher than double a normal planting,
for the time.  I was the only bidder.  Got a call from the head state
forester for "outrageous pricing" of a planting job.  I politely asked
him if he had seen the site, he said no, so I invited him down to look
at it.  He got out of the car, for about 10 seconds, turned around and
left.  They have no concept of what actual planting costs are, they cost
share, and are only concerned with the numbers that can be generated by
the dollars available.

I dont balk at liquidation sales, I fight them till the land owners
tells me thats what he wants, then I do the best damn liquidation sale I
can, that's part of our job, to sell good managment.  But the customer
is always right, in the end, if he is going to be your client. 
Otherwise, through him on the tender mercies of a procurement forester.

Direct referrals should be used only in unusual circumstances.  If
immediate action is necessary, that  would be the one exception I can
think of, where damage to the land or property is emminent.  I have
received a few direct referrals over the years, but know of more direct
referrals by state types to procurement types for an under the table
"finders fee".  

Buyer beware, indeed.
Don Staples
UIN 4653335

My Ego Stroke:  http://www.livingston.net/dstaples/

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