Massachusetts Forestry Miracle

KMorrisD kmorrisd at
Mon Sep 28 21:40:24 EST 1998


(Graphic of the current leadership of the Department of
Environmental Management, Division of Forests and Parks and Bureau
of Forestry sitting behind the wheel of a large skidder.  The
resemblance to Mo, Larry and Curly is purely coincidental.)

Following in the tradition of a great former governor and
presidential candidate, we forestry bureaucrats of Massachusetts are
proud of our accomplishments, and we therefore seek to export our
model of forestry to the rest of the country.  Toward this end, we
are working on a manual describing the Massachusetts Forestry
Miracle in order to enlighten and inspire our fellow forestry
bureaucrats.  Here are some highlights from this manual.  They
describe our accomplishments and our works in progress.

(Graphic of a high-graded woodlot with only cull trees and weed
species remaining.)

1) Our Forest Cutting Practices Act, and the Forest Cutting Plans
that it requires, are a testament to our success in saying
everything but requiring nothing.  We are currently working on a
manual of bureaucratic doublespeak for writers of Cutting Plans to
help them better fill in their forms and justify their high-grading
of the state's forests.  This is essential, and a keystone of our
success, because it enables us to maintain control over those lowly
untermenschen, the consulting foresters, some of whom who would take
away our control over Cutting Plans with their ridiculous proposed
`real` forester licensing program. 

(Graphic of a BOF forester in crisp, clean uniform, coffee cup in

2) Our own Forester Licensing Program, currently under revision,
will award ubermenschen status to all forestry bureaucrats.  They
will have to pass a rigorous exam in form filling, buck passing,
coffee break planning, and strategic hiding out.  Their reward will
be free use of state Mitsubishi Land Destroyers for driving all over
the state to meetings...and for other incidental purposes.

(Graphic of a slovenly consulting forester, clothing spotted with
various colors of tree marking paint.)

3) Our Forester Licensing Program will give secondary status to
those few consulting foresters, the untermenschen of the forestry
world, who are able to pass a rigorous test in academic forestry
trivia and bureaucratic sophistry.  We will also require them to
periodically jump through training hoops of our design, and pay us
handsomely for the privilege of calling themselves `foresters`. 
This will enable us to continue eating their lunches for the
foreseeable future.  We like eating their lunches.

(Graphic of `management forester` with clipboard in one hand, whip
in the other.)

4)  Our system of state forests, the epitome of `plantation
forestry`, is our pride and joy.  We have developed a highly
sophisticated system whereby consulting foresters do all the menial
work on our `plantations`--inventory, boundaries and timber marking.
We really enjoy sitting around and enjoying the fruits of their
labor.  We've also managed to bamboozle the state legislature into
paying us well over 200% of returns from timber sales for all our
cleverness in developing and maintaining this wonderful system.

(Graphic of `management forester` holding paint gun at arm's length,
grimacing as he pulls the trigger.)

5)  Our techniques for doing field work have allowed us to maintain
our neat, professional appearance at all times.  We have perfected
the `slow walk` and `never break a sweat` techniques to the point
where we never get a drop of tree marking paint, or ugly sweat
stains, on our clothing.  We are working on a video that depicts
proper execution of these techniques.  

(Graphic of coffee table, covered with brochures.)

6)  Our Stewardship Incentives Program truly is a thing of beauty. 
We have advanced the design of the two and three color brochure to a
high art form.  These are publications that any landowner would be
proud to display on her or his coffee table.  Our SIP bureaucrats
get paid extremely well--over 150% of the money they distribute as
cost-shares--for their skills in this important new area of forestry

(Graphic of declining IRR over a tree's life.)

7)  Our version of the Great 3-5% Scam is likewise a thing of rare
beauty.  We have succeeded beyond our wildest dreams in convincing
landowners--and those dumb untermenschen consultants--that trees
only grow at 3-5% per year in value, and that our free services and
cost-shares are therefore necessary to compensate landowners for
their ill-advised investments in forest land.  This scam also helps
out our allies the high-graders, who wouldn't be able to buy nearly
so much timber without our assistance in this regard.

(Graphic of bureaucrat wannabes attentively listening to lecture in
the woods.)

8)  Our indoctrination program at the University of Massachusetts
trains up-and-coming foresters in all the mysteries of the SAF and
the sanctity of bureaucratic forestry.  This program has also been
enormously successful in keeping the toes of those untermenschen
consultants on the party line.  We cooperate fully with
indoctrination programs at other regional universities.

(Graphic of grinning lawyer.)

9)  Our legal department has been enormously successful at providing
us with cover from the state's general laws which expressly prohibit
many of our favorite activities such as hiring permanent employees,
not charging for forestry services, and encouraging high-grading. 
Having experienced political hacks at the highest levels of our
bureaucracy also helps in this regard. 

For advance, draft copies of our three color manual, plus
accompanying video, please visit our website at and fill out the form.  You'll be glad you
did.  We look forward to hearing from you, and please, tell all your
professional forestry associates.  They'll thank you for it.

Uberforester Bureaucrats of Massachusetts
September, 1998

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