Eight Forestry Reforms

Karl Davies karl at daviesand.com
Tue Sep 21 18:37:49 EST 1999

We've been busy on nefr-list.  Here's what we've come up with so far.
BTW, these reforms are specific to MA, but could be easily adapted for
other states.

As Drafted and Discussed by Subscribers to the Northeastern Forestry
Reformation List**
September, 1999

1)  There will be a Forester Licensing Board under the Commonwealth's
Division of Registration, Office of Consumer Affairs and Business
Regulation.  The Board will be made up of eight practicing foresters.
Implementing legislation for forester licensing and the Board will be
along the lines of the implementing legislation for licensing of
surveyors, engineers and architects.  The Board will be solely
responsible for forester licensing, and will be jointly responsible with
DEM-BOF for timber harvest supervisor licensing.  The DEM-BOF will be
solely responsible for timber harvester licensing.

2)  All silvicultural operations on Chapter 61 land will be done in
conformance with a Silvicultural Plan.  Silvicultural Plans may also be
prepared for non-Chapter 61 land.  Silvicultural Plans will be prepared
only by Licensed Foresters and will not be subject to review by DEM-BOF
Regulatory Foresters (see paragraph 7 for duties of these foresters).
These plans will be filed with the town Conservation Commission(s) and
the DEM-BOF.

3)  Cutting Plans for non-Chapter 61 land may be prepared only by
Licensed Timber Harvester Supervisors and will be subject to review by
DEM-BOF Regulatory Foresters.  Cutting Plans will include clear and
prominent disclaimers as to the accuracy of harvest volumes and boundary
locations in the plans.  There will also be clear and prominent
disclaimers as to the appropriateness of the selection of trees to be
cut and left.  These plans will be filed with the town Conservation
Commission(s) and the DEM-BOF.  Filers of Cutting Plans will pay a fee
to the DEM-BOF for the full cost of DEM-BOF personnel in processing
these plans.

4)  Chapter 61 Forest Management Plans will be prepared only by Licensed
Foresters.  The Chapter 61 Plan will also constitute a Sustainable
Forestry Practices Notice of Intent for all road work to be done under
the plan.  All road work will be done in conformance with Forest Road
Design Standards.  These Standards will be written and periodically
updated by the Forester Licensing Board.  The Forest Management Plan may
include extra information that will qualify it as a long-term
Silvicultural Plan at the election of the landowner and forester.

5)  State Forests will be turned over to any regional or town land trust
that petitions the DEM-BOF for such action, and that prepares a
comprehensive management plan for the land that is acceptable to a joint
committee of the DEM-BOF and the Forester Licensing Board.  Trust lands
will be managed for the benefit of the residents of the state, regions
and towns.  These trusts will be responsible for designing forest
policies and for hiring forest managers to implement these policies.
Significant parts of these trust forests will be demonstration forests
to help educate the general public about the benefits and techniques of
forest management.  Other significant parts will be designated for
permanent old growth status.

6)  All hiring in the DEM-BOF will be done to meet the requirements of
civil service.  Current personnel who do not meet these requirements
will be moved to lower levels of responsibility where they do meet civil
service requirements.  The Director of the Division of Forests and Parks
will be a licensed forester, as will the Chief Forester and all DEM-BOF
Regulatory and State Forest Management Foresters.  All DEM-BOF staff
appointments will be subject to cancellation upon petition of a majority
of Licensed Foresters.

7)  Chapter 61 lands will be checked for compliance with plans every 5
years by the DEM-BOF Regulatory Foresters.  DEM-BOF Regulatory Foresters
will have responsibility for approving and administering all federal and
state cost-shares for private forestry activities.  DEM-BOF Regulatory
Foresters will be responsible for confirming Licensed Foresters'
appraisals of ecosystem service contributions claimed as state and
federal income tax deductions by forest landowners.

8)  The same amount of state and federal tax money as has been allocated
to the Big Dig will be allocated for the purchase of development rights
from forest and farm landowners.  This money will be made available to
cities, towns and local/regional land trusts that have developed rural
land conservation plans, and that have demonstrated effectiveness and
efficiency in conserving rural land.  A special account will be
established for the purchase of development and forestry rights to old
growth and near old growth forest stands and adjacent buffer zones.

*  The Northeastern Forestry Reformation List consists of approximately
40 foresters and environmentalists from throughout the United States and
Canada, but predominantly from the Northeastern states and provinces.
Instructions for subscribing to this list may be found at

Karl Davies, Silviculturist

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