Foresters – Which One Do You Need?

When searching for a forester, are you aware there are different types and each can assist you with your different needs?  Always remember, that in most states, any person who calls themselves a “forester” and works for hire on land that he or she does not own (state, federal and corporate lands are an exception must be registered by their given State  Board of Registration for Foresters.

Listed below are the different types of foresters you may come across and an explanation of what they do and what their area of expertise is.  This should help in determining who you need with regard to your property.

Acquisition Forester

A forester whose primary responsibility is to locate forestland that can be purchased by the company or organization he represents.

County Forester

A forester who works for the state forestry commission and provides assistance and education to landowners within a one or two county area.

Consulting Forester

A self-employed forester, who, for a fee, assists private landowners with forest management practices.  According to the Society of American Foresters, a consultant is a professional forester whose services are available to the general public on a contract or fee basis–with the fee paid by the client.  A consultant performs all work in compliance with legal requirements for the practice of forestry, such as registration and licensing.  A consultant remains free from conflicts of interest (for instance, wood procurement) to serve the best and sole interest of clients or charges. Some consultants provide general assistance; others specialize.

Extension Forester

A forester who works for the cooperative extension service and develops and provides technical information for state forestry interests. Their primary responsibility is group education, including preparing materials for local and regional educational activities, working through local Extension and other agency and organization personnel.

Forest Ranger

A U.S Forest Service forester in charge of part of a national forest referred to as a district. Forest rangers, or district rangers, supervise the management activities on their districts, including fire control, tree planting, recreational activities, and thinning and harvesting. District rangers do not provide assistance to private landowners.

Forest Supervisor

A U.S. Forest Service employee who coordinates all activities in a particular national forest but primarily supervises personnel and administers programs in the forest.

Industrial Forester

A forester employed by a forest-based industry. This individual may manage company-owned woodlands to produce forest products, may work with private landowners to purchase forest products for the company, or may do both.

Landowner Assistance Program (LAP) Forester

An industrial forester that provides certain forest-related services to landowners. Depending on the company or organization, the LAP forester may provide management planning, assistance with practices such as site preparation, planting and harvesting.

Procurement Forester

An industrial forester who buys timber from private and public landowners. Some timber buyers and procurement personnel are not professional foresters.

Professional Forester

In the usual context, this term refers to a person who has graduated from a professionally accepted, 4-year, college forestry curriculum.

Registered Forester

Any person who has been registered and licensed by their state Board of Registration for Foresters. Registration requires a combination of education, practical experience and successful passage of a registration examination.

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