timber theft, forester licensing is needed

Joseph Zorzin redoak at forestmeister.com
Thu Oct 1 06:04:14 EST 1998


To the editor of the Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, MA):

In your paper today, Thursday, October 1, there is an article entitled
"Almost 200 trees felled; couple claim timber theft". This sort of thing
(which occurred in the town of Washington, Mass.) happens frequently and
is preventable.

This happens because the state Department of Environmental Management,
Bureau of Forestry routinely signs off on "forest cutting plans"
prepared by people who are not forestry professionals; and therefore the
state is partly responsible. These "cutting plans" should be renamed
"silviculture plans" and they should be prepared by licensed
professional foresters and nobody else.

The issue of "forester licensing" has been discussed in this state for
decades, but the legislature refuses to advance the cause of good
forestry because the logging industry is against professional forestry,
and because the state agency is concerned that with consulting licensed
foresters, their cushy state jobs might be threatened, their well paid
jobs which do NOT protect the public from such thievery. Also, the
leadership of state agencies too often consists of retired politicians
and their office "gophers".

It's about time that landowner groups, environmental groups and
professional forestry groups work together to encourage the state
legislature to professionalize forestry in Massachusetts by finally
passing a real Forester Licensing law, to reform or do away with the non
productive state Bureau of Forestry, and put forestry professionals in
the leadership positions of the state Department of Environmental
Management.

An "ad hoc" group of forestry consultants and environmentalists is
currently waging an effort to reform forestry in Massachusetts using the
internet to reach out to all parties that have an interest in
Massachusetts forests. We will soon be setting up an internet "list
server" that will allow all parties to participate in this discussion,
on this issue which our legislature and state agencies have for decades
failed to do their duty. For more information about this "Massachusetts
Forestry Reformation of '98" you can email me at
redoak at forestmeister.com and view the web page at
http://www.forestmeister.com.
-- 

Joseph Zorzin
294 Park St.
Housatonic, MA 01236
PH: 413-274-3742
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http://forestmeister.com
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