Find a Professional Forester
Creating the woodland that you want can be very involved. Much depends on your wants and needs and the condition and capability of the woodland as it exists. A professional forester is uniquely qualified to help landowners sort through ideas and help decide what can and should be done.
Should management of the timber be involved, whether for wildlife habitat or purely for income, a forester can see that you achieve the desired outcome while protecting other features of the forest like nearby streams.
As with all forestry services, it is highly recommended to obtain references from past or current clients.
Before hiring a forester, it is suggested that you interview them. Here are some suggested questions to use in such an interview:
- Are you a Certified Forester?
- What education and experience do you have?
- Will you develop a management plan for me?
- What kind of fee structure do you use for the requested services? (For example: flat fee, per acre fee, percentage of timber sale value)
- Do you provide a services contract; will you accept one that I develop; or will you negotiate one with me?
- Do you have a liability insurance policy that covers the requested services?
- Will you supervise the implementation of any recommended practices?
- Will you provide references?
More detailed information on items to consider before hiring forestry services can be found at Call Before You Cut.
Two non-profit organizations, the Society of American Foresters, and the Association of Consulting Foresters, maintain regularly updated listings of foresters available to provide consultant services to private woodland owners. Both organizations require a base level of formal forestry education and that a code of professional ethics be listed. Membership in either of these two organizations is voluntary. Some professional foresters choose not to participate in either organization. This does not necessarily indicate a lack of training, skill, or experience on their part.