The Awful Truth

Raymond Brown rrbrown at
Tue Mar 14 19:04:19 EST 2000


If I may I would like to add a little Ontario (Canadian) twist to the discussion.
Fist of all I am relatively young and so have not experienced that much of
forestry.  I have been a part of the forestry scene for only tens years now, and I
consider that to be a developing rookie.

Here in Ontario, 18 months after graduation a forester is licensed as an RPF or
Registered Professional Forester.  Doesn't mean much really, unless you are a
forester who signs management plans on Crown land.  From what I have been told,
legislation is in place to change this.  According to what I have been told, 18
months after graduation a forester will have to right an exam to get their RPF
status.  At this point they can be sued for malpractise if you can prove
mismanagement of the publics forest (89% of our forest is public).  Proving
malpractise will require progressive judges, since they probably don't know much
about biology or forestry.  As for state or in our case provincial foresters, they
tend to stay out of the private land game.  They will offer some basic advice for
landowners, but that is it.  For more extensive information or work the provincial
forester will pass the landowner onto a private land consultant such as myself.  I
am licensed to write management plans on private land, and it is requiered that I
write and Pass (75%) a written exam every year.  Although this is challenging, it
adds credibility.  Our goverenment got out of the private forestry business about 4
years ago.  It was to expensive for them.  Now I offer tax breaks to landowners who
practise good Forest Stewardship (75% of property taxes over five years).  Just an
example, here, but I recently wrote a plan for a landowner who owns 175 acres of
forest.  They wanted to remove it all over five years.  After viewing the site I
came to the conclusion that none of their woodlot should be harvested.  Access was a
problem, finding a reputable logger was next to impossible and there is a monopoly
in their area concerning sawmill owners.  In return for their tax break, they will
monitor their woodlot, through photographs and a special report I have made for them
and they will take some forest workshop courses, view the internet to learn more and
read books about forestry from the library.  Education is the key.  Landowners are
smart people who can learn the whole story.  Then they can make an educated
management decision about their property in five years from now.

As for your other comments about loggers and industry, the same thing happens here.
There are bad apples everywhere.  It is all about greed. remember the story about
"the Commons".  In no uncertain terms that is there arguement, as weak as it may
be.  These logger types will always be around, we as foresters, need to work to put
them out business by not recommending them to landowners and not selling wood to the
mills that hire these scrupulous individuals.

Well thats it for now, my fingers are sore, I am not a secretary, just a forester,

Bye for now

Karl Davies wrote:

> Doug Halliwell wrote:
> > Karl:
> > It is late in the evening and I don't have a lot of time to deal with all of
> > the issues that were brought up in "The
> > Awful Truth" but would like to mention a few things.  For one thing, I am a
> > practicing forester with a state agency and have been doing it for about 32
> > years, so am one of your buro crats.
> My deepest sympathies. <G>
> > Your broad smears are an insult to
> > someone who has spent almost their entire working life trying to improve the
> > forest resource.
> Joe Zorzin and I hear this all the time.  We paint with a broad brush, we make
> broad smears, etc, etc.  We know it's risky to generalize, but we've yet to
> encounter any Sakharovs or Solzhenitsyns in any of the forestry burrocracies.
> So until we do, we'll probably just keep it up.  BTW, which burrocracy are you a
> part of?
> > Sure, that include some cutting, some thinning, some
> > regeneration and some leaving the dam thing alone.  Over the years, I have
> > sold more landowners on woodland management through esthetics, wildlife and
> > recreation than from any monetary gain from cutting trees.
> That would figure.  How fast do you tell them their trees can grow with good
> management?  Would I be too far off in guessing 3-5%?
> > The Forest
> > Management plans our agency writes encompass the entire resource, including
> > wildlife, water, riparian areas, recreation, etc,etc,etc.  Cutting timber is
> > only one tool among several.  All of our timber sales are on the basis of a
> > selectively marked, scaled, bid process.
> Great.  That's really nice of you.  How much do you charge for your services?
> > If the landowner is not willing to
> > allow scientific management, we bow out.  As we do not have any mandatory
> > forest management laws, that is the best we can do.
> Right.  So on the other 95% of the land in your state you get rampant
> high-grading, correct?
> > Licensing of Foresters
> > would have little effect, as our foresters are very well trained and we have
> > a strict code of ethics that is obeyed, or they are fired.
> Doug, I'm afraid you miss the point entirely.  We're talking licensing of
> PRIVATE foresters, not state foresters.  You're not from one of those states
> where there are no consulting foresters due to the monopoly of the state
> forestry burrocracy, are you?
> > You seem to have it in for loggers (there is not doubt that some of them are
> > bad apples and I have had my share of trouble with them), however, without
> > them (believe it or not, some of them can look to the future and appreciate
> > a sustainable resource) it would not be possible to manage our forests.  You
> > do enjoy a nice piece of golden oak  or hard maple furniture, don't you.
> Gee, thanks for not doing the toilet paper rap. <G>
> > You are asking for a simplistic answer to a complicated problem.  I am a
> > REAL forester and I do know what the heck is going on.  If you want to carry
> > on a constructive dialog, it will by my pleasure to do so with you and the
> > rest of this group.   There are real problems out their and a open
> > discussion about them would be profitable.
> OK.  How about we start with a discussion of how to put an end state-subsidized,
> burrocratic forestry everywhere in the USA?
> --
> Karl Davies, Practicing Forester

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