forester licensing regs in Massachusetts, they SUCK <G>

KMorrisD kmorrisd at
Fri Nov 27 12:12:14 EST 1998

Ron Wenrich <woodtick at> wrote:

>The problem is, there are complaints about the professionals, from the
>green side.  How will licensing satisfy their arguements that foresters are
>extension of the timber industry?

Good question.  The way we're dealing with that one is to propose that the
present Forest Cutting Plan, which deals only with wetland and endangered
species protection, become a Silvicultural Plan.  We'd take the Cutting Plan
and add a page on Silviculture.  Silvicultural Plans could only be prepared by
licensed foresters.  

We intend to do a lot of work to educate town conservation commissions and
other environmentalists about the importance of good silviculture for the
health and productivity of our forests.  Our state forestry people haven't done
this job, so it's up to us.

>You will need outraged
>citizens to come forward and make a case that forests have been mismanaged by
>incompetent non-professionals. 

That's already happening here, and I imagine it's happening to some extent
where you are too.  Landowners and environmentalists are waking up to the
extent and effects of high-grading, which is the de facto type of management
that happens in the absense of management by professional foresters.  And their
reaction is to say shut it all down.  They don't understand that there's a
middle way--good silviculture by professional foresters.  

>While we're at it, we should push for licensing
>loggers.  This will have a greater impact on forests than just licensing

We already have that in MA.  And it has had some positive effect regarding
wetlands protection.  But it's had no effect regarding silviculture since
that's not part of the purpose of harvester licensing.  

The state people have no real interest in good silviculture because requiring
it would irritate the high-graders, and it would threaten their own jobs
because it would necessarily entail requiring that licensed foresters prepare
Silvicultural Plans, thereby making the service foresters' jobs superfluous. 

Karl Davies

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