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Author Topic: Quickest way to get certified to manage timber sales.  (Read 368 times)

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Offline Catamount17

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Quickest way to get certified to manage timber sales.
« on: November 18, 2019, 09:10:13 AM »
I currently work as a sub-contractor for a forester who mostly manages timber sales and management plans for town water supply areas in western Massachusetts. I've been on the job off and on for four and a half years, but didn't start out with a degree (the forester in question is a family friend and trained me herself). However, she's looking to retire in a few years, and I'm trying to figure out the quickest way to make myself marketable as a sub-contractor to other foresters or a contractor for timber sales on private and town property. Because my boss is of an age to retire, she isn't really familiar with online programs (she frequently paces or uses a hip chain to measure distance instead of our *very* accurate Trimble, to give you an idea of what era she's from), so I thought I might be able to find some information here.

Also, while I enjoy this work, I'm not looking to do it full-time, but rather as a supplementary gig to a firewood/woodworking business. For that reason, a four year forestry degree isn't really a good investment. Ideally I'm just looking to get something on paper that says I'm qualified for what I already know how to do. My area has a deficit of foresters to the point where logging operations happen more often without the involvement of a forester, so the quality of the degree really doesn't matter either. I just need something to justify my involvement and boost my hourly rate. Online is also a must because I really can't afford to stop working in order to pursue a degree at the moment.

If anyone has any suggestions let me know!

Online Ron Wenrich

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Re: Quickest way to get certified to manage timber sales.
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2019, 11:39:52 AM »
I'm not sure what your laws are in your state.  In PA, we have no licensing or certification necessary to practice forestry.  I see that MA has a licensing requirement.  You could get that if you have a technician degree and 5 yrs of work experience in the field.  

The Commonwealth of MA further describes the practice of forestry as:  Practice of Forestry means any professional services requiring the application of forestry principles and techniques including, but not limited to: forest inventory, forest management planning, timber appraisal, the responsibility for the direction and supervision of silvicultural activities, use and protection of forested areas, and the evaluation of the economic and biological consequences of forest management activities.

I'm not sure how you get around marking timber and carrying out a timber sale without doing an inventory or an appraisal.  
We have several guys that go around calling themselves a timber agent.  You probably won't get into any trouble, as long as you're not offering forest mgmt services.  If you're looking to just mark timber as a sub-contractor, you might find your services are better offered to loggers or possibly some mills.  There may be some consultants that would be looking for some marking services, as well.  You're biggest problem is when other consultants view you as an unlicensed forester that is taking potential business away.  
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Quickest way to get certified to manage timber sales.
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2019, 05:58:42 PM »
As a minimum, you should have a 2 year Forest Technician degree and a minimum of 5 years experience working under a professional forester to start practicing timber sale preparation and management on your own. 

I would seek out a professional forester in your local area with good credentials who might be willing to hire and mentor you in timber sale management practices. Consultants are often in need of help with timber sale inspections.

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