forester licensing regs in Massachusetts

KMorrisD kmorrisd at
Fri Jan 8 19:08:02 EST 1999

Ron Wenrich <woodtick at> wrote:

>The biggest problem I'm seeing is the cutting of smaller and smaller trees.
>logs will kill the hardwood industry.  There is too little grade in these
>logs to
>justify cutting (unless for thinning purposes).  It doesn't make sense to cut
>tree that has just gotten to the point of putting on real quality lumber, but
>happens all the time by both loggers and consultants.

We see that here in MA too.  Part of the reason for it is landowners not
knowing how fast those 12"-16" trees are growing in value--due to lack of
information from public and private foresters.  Part of it is just big demand
from mills. 

>All the credentials and licensing won't weed out the foresters that are only
>looking to buy or sell timber, nor will it guarantee that only competent
>will practice the trade (Just look at all the other licensed professions).
>mandates are hard to get through.  That's why I think it may be possible to
>try it
>at a localized level, where a competent consultant would review all work
>being done
>in the locality.

If your county governments have such authority, that does sound like the way to
go.  Our county governments have no such authority.  The state holds all the
cards here in MA.  But there are county and regional economic development
agencies.  Hmmm...maybe we should be talking to them.  

>We have a hardwood development council in our state.  There are 25 members of
>Board of Directors.  Of those, only 1 represents landonwers, and that is in
>association.  One comes from the state university.  7 are department heads
>government, 4 are state legislatures, and 7 are from industry.  There are no
>consultants,  and at best, there are 5 foresters.

Sounds like a perfect recipe for burrocratic and industrial collusion.  The
burros get to keep their jobs peddling disinformation to landowners.  The indos
get to keep high-grading.  Landowners and consultants get taken for a very
expensive ride.

>They will block any talk of licensing foresters, IMO.
>Since the State defaults on mgmt mandates, the control then goes to the
>locals and
>that's an untapped market for consultants.

So us consultants should be out talking to our county supervisors and economic
development agencies about tree value growth, and trying to sell our services
to them and through them.  That strategy would totally bypass the whole state
burrocratic-industrial structure.  I like that idea.  


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