Forum > Ask The Forester

Hiring A Forester

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Rabland:
What is considered reasonable for NOT charging a client for information regarding their plans for a property or other questions they may have for the forester and the logging process? Is it reasonable for the client to email plans, have the forester walk a part of your property, and sit down and answer questions before proceeding with a project where the forester charges for his services? Or, is any communication with a forester subject to charges? Where is the line drawn?

PoginyHill:
If YOU ask a forester (or any contractor) to do specific things (walk your property, answer specific questions, etc...), then I think you should expect to pay for that time. If you ask him for a proposal to do work (develop a management plan) and HE decides to walk your property or ask you questions to establish a quote, then I would expect that to be part of the quoting process. If the understanding is that the quote is free, then I wouldn't expect to pay.

Either way, good communication up front can avoid hassles down the road.

Texas Ranger:
You are hiring a forester for his education, knowledge and experience.  All hard earned.  I will quote a price for any requests beyond an answer other than "yes" or "no".  You pay for what you get, go to the state agency of your state and ask for assistance.  There again you get what you pay for.

bigblockyeti:

--- Quote from: Texas Ranger on September 08, 2022, 02:57:45 PM ---You pay for what you get, go to the state agency of your state and ask for assistance.  There again you get what you pay for.

--- End quote ---
I contact the state extension office closest to me (Clemson) and spent a while emailing and talking to a forester but couldn't convince him that walking my property was necessary, though it was and still is something I'm hoping for.  I'm wanting it a bit denser for privacy in a couple of areas but am most interested in the overall health of the forest.
About getting what you pay for, specifically regarding government agencies, remember what Will Rogers said:  "It's a good thing we don't get all the government we pay for."

Ron Wenrich:
I've done both consulting and procurement forestry.  Its been a number of years, but I've always walked a portion of a property with or without a landowner.  If you're looking for a timber sale, its the only way to assess whether there is merchantable timber.  I know other procurement foresters and timber buyers do that, so its a competition sort of thing. 

The procurement forester is paid by his employer, so they don't charge anything.  The logger will also do it for free.  For the consultant, its more like a job opportunity, and the client is hiring him. 

For an appraisal, I'd like to think that I should be paid.  I wouldn't do a detailed one for free.  For a walk through, the procurement guy is going to give a ballpark figure.  I can do the same thing, but it will be low ball.  Also the explanation will be that a better figure can only be given when the timber is marked.  Both procurement and consultant go by the same thinking.  Marking isn't free for anyone.

This may be a regional thing, but it seems to hold true in my area.  I've always found it worth my time. 

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