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Author Topic: another potential forestry student...  (Read 6505 times)

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Offline CJennings

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another potential forestry student...
« on: September 06, 2009, 08:19:29 PM »
Hello everyone. I was tempted to post on locustoak's thread since it answered some of my questions too but decided I'd not hijack it. As a forewarning, I do have a habit of writing long posts sometimes so bear with me if this gets lengthy. Anyways, I've been considering going into forestry and came across this nice forum while researching...

To briefly summarize my background, after highschool I went to college for a history degree and got a B.A. in History in the Spring of 2008. I had planned to go into teaching history, since I've always had an interest in history (to the point of being a terrible packrat collector of anything old...). Well I burned out on that before I even got to the point of working as a teacher so didn't do that. For a few reasons: lack of interest most students would have in a subject I enjoy and all that goes with that sort of thing in a classroom, and, between having always enjoyed the outdoors, hating city life, having always been the self-sufficient (grow my own food, hunt, etc.) type, decided I really couldn't stand a job that keeps me indoors most of the day and in the city (I thought for a while having the summer off to do what I enjoy if I worked as a teacher would make working in a town/city all the time in the winter tolerable, I decided otherwise since that puts me at 9 months of not really enjoying what I'm doing). So, I'd prefer something that lets me work outside quite a bit. So, having spent a lot of time thinking about what I should do with my life, and researching a bit into what I could do, forestry occurred to me and obviously, there's a lot of different things one can do in forestry, some of which involve being out in the woods more than others.

Right now I basically work part time (very part time I should say) at a dead end retail job, and I've been doing other things for extra money (trapping in the Fall, odd jobs for people I know...), and I'm living in one of Vermont's larger communities (which I don't like, I was happier when I lived in rural Northern VT instead). So I'm not terribly happy with this situation (although I love trapping but that's not going to be a way to make a living here these days, it helps when fisher cat season comes around in December and I make a nice chunk of cash if I pick a good location but otherwise it's mostly extra spending money to fuel my hobbies including trapping and keep my mind off other things). I'm not interested in being rich but I do want enough money to have some rural wooded land, small house/cabin, etc. The whole economy is terrible which worries me (could lose my dead-end but paying the bills job any day given the situation). Maybe it'll improve in a few years, maybe not. I worry about going into too much debt by going back to school. I'm not sure if at this point I'll be able to get as much scholarships, etc, to avoid loans like I did before.

So anyways, I thought I'd get a degree in forest technology and see how things go from there, if I get a job and make some money and enjoy things get a bachelor degree so I can eventually move up a bit if I want. Would that be a good way to start or would it be a lot harder for jobs than if I went for a 4 yr. degree? I'm thinking it'd be best to start at 2 years to see how things go. I suspect it'll be a bigger challenge than my history degree was. I've looked at universities offering such a degree near me (Vermont) and the closest options are at the Ranger School in Wanakena, NY, University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH) and University of Maine (at Fort Kent, ME). NH is slightly more expensive than ME and NY but, I noticed at ME, it's actually 2 1/2 years as opposed to just 2 years at NH and NY. What's everyone think about that? I'm leaning towards either NH or ME since I personally dislike the State of New York (political reasons for that, mainly their gun control laws I dislike having gotten so used to Vermont and really enjoying guns so I've always avoided the entire state, although I could put aside my dislike for NY since I'd not be moving there permanently) but I wonder if there's any advantage to the extra semester at ME since obviously I'd prefer being done in 2 years instead if there's nothing really justifying it.

 It seems the USFS and some other govt. agencies do hire quite a few forest technicians, usually for only part of the year, which wouldn't be a bad start anyways if I can get a job with them. Although I tried applying for a job with them this summer and never got one, seems there's a lot of competition for any job from them, even the real low end/mainly unskilled jobs. Anyone have any inside info. on if this situation will be improving at all in the near future? More jobs opening up or not? I've read in my research suggestions a lot of people will be retiring in the next several years. True or not? I figure a federal govt. job would be one of the most secure in this economy especially and if I could get one I enjoy that would be nice. I'm not tied down with a family of my own (single) so could move for a job (though not to the South since I'm not very tolerable of such hot, humid weather, or certain other states, like NY, CA, IL, and some others I'd not want to live in) although I'd prefer staying in Northern New England (VT, NH, ME) or if I were to move from here, Alaska as I've spent some time there in the past and love that state even though VT is home to me, being descended from some of the earliest settlers here and having always lived here.

So, as I warned about, that did get a bit long. Sorry about that. I think studying history has made me far too detailed in my writing at times.  :D

-Casey Jennings

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Re: another potential forestry student...
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2009, 08:38:01 PM »
Hi, I am a new forestry student, who was looking into almost all the schools your going to.  I applied to the SUNY Ranger school, as well as Paul smiths college, The university of maine orono, and unity in maine.  You should know, that both the ranger school and paul smiths(where I am now) allow you to have personal firearms on campus during hunting seasons.  I am looking forward to hunting some
ADK deer this season.  If you are interested in a 2 year degree, the Ranger school is, IMO, the best 2 year education around here.  Paul smiths has a great reputation also.  But, in Maine, a VT student can recieve in state tuition, plus half, if their major is not offered in VT.  UVM offers a BS in forestry, not an AAS.  So, if you go to either Umaine orono(which does offer a forest tech degree), or Fort kent for an AAS forestry, you can recieve a tuition break.  Thats a little incentive, I think.  I personally am liking the ADK's , even though they are a bit different than the NEK where i'm from.(Danville)  If I was going for a forest tech. degree, I would of chose the Ranger school, personally.  I have been told that with a 4 year degree, you will start out with the same jobs as a forest tech degree, possibly for a few years.  The difference is, the 4 year degree allows for you to advanve in the field.  This is what ive been told, though.  I am going for a degree in industrial forest operations, and although i am tempted to be done in 2 years, i think i will personally benefit from the 4 year program.
Hope i helped a bit.
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Online beenthere

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Re: another potential forestry student...
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2009, 10:56:57 PM »
CJennings
Welcome to the forum.
If still somewhat interested in History and have that degree, have you looked into such work with the USFS? Writing and collecting and writing, about things you seem to be interested in, may just be a possibility there.
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Re: another potential forestry student...
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2009, 08:26:01 AM »
I strongly vote for the BS degree.  Some of your prior credits will likely apply to the Core Curriculum requirements, so it may not take 4 years.  The BS will open significantly more doors for you.
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Offline CJennings

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Re: another potential forestry student...
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2009, 11:36:21 AM »
I strongly vote for the BS degree.  Some of your prior credits will likely apply to the Core Curriculum requirements, so it may not take 4 years.  The BS will open significantly more doors for you.

You know I hadn't even considered how much of what I've already done would be accepted to knock off some of the core requirements. I need to try to find out although I'm not sure if I would really know until I apply and have been accepted. If I could knock a year off for the BS it wouldn't be too bad. But my thought was, it's better to go for 2 years and see how I like things and how it works out than 4 years and then have it not work out. Then I could go later (even part time as a student) to get my BS if I want to.

Offline CJennings

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Re: another potential forestry student...
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2009, 11:38:42 AM »
CJennings
Welcome to the forum.
If still somewhat interested in History and have that degree, have you looked into such work with the USFS? Writing and collecting and writing, about things you seem to be interested in, may just be a possibility there.

I'm thinking now I'd prefer to be outside more. I've been off and on working on a book on a subject of history. Writing on my free time and doing my "junk" collecting (as a lot of my friends and relatives call it) might be enough for my interest in history.

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Re: another potential forestry student...
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2009, 11:51:29 AM »
Hi, I am a new forestry student, who was looking into almost all the schools your going to.  I applied to the SUNY Ranger school, as well as Paul smiths college, The university of maine orono, and unity in maine.  You should know, that both the ranger school and paul smiths(where I am now) allow you to have personal firearms on campus during hunting seasons.  I am looking forward to hunting some
ADK deer this season.  If you are interested in a 2 year degree, the Ranger school is, IMO, the best 2 year education around here.  Paul smiths has a great reputation also.  But, in Maine, a VT student can recieve in state tuition, plus half, if their major is not offered in VT.  UVM offers a BS in forestry, not an AAS.  So, if you go to either Umaine orono(which does offer a forest tech degree), or Fort kent for an AAS forestry, you can recieve a tuition break.  Thats a little incentive, I think.  I personally am liking the ADK's , even though they are a bit different than the NEK where i'm from.(Danville)  If I was going for a forest tech. degree, I would of chose the Ranger school, personally.  I have been told that with a 4 year degree, you will start out with the same jobs as a forest tech degree, possibly for a few years.  The difference is, the 4 year degree allows for you to advanve in the field.  This is what ive been told, though.  I am going for a degree in industrial forest operations, and although i am tempted to be done in 2 years, i think i will personally benefit from the 4 year program.
Hope i helped a bit.

Maine seems to be cheapest for tuition (with the discount), NH the highest, and NY slightly under NH, even with a slight break in tuition from NH as a New England student. I could get the tuition break in NH and ME for a 2 year degree since it's not offered in Vermont (and truth be told I'm not too keen on living near Burlington either). I think whatever I get for financial aid may have to determine things to a large degree. Now depending on what credit I get for classes I've already taken for the core requirements could change the picture a bit too. The NY Ranger School does seem to have a good reputation from what I've read, but then, so too do ME and NH but the extra semester at ME seems sort of odd. If I went to ME I think I'd rather be in Fort Kent than near Orono (though I'd prefer being in Orono, ME over Burlington, VT too).

Most of my gun collection is in handguns which I couldn't even legally posess in NY unless just going through the state to another state or to a specific pistol competition, so if I went with NY I'd have to store them with someone here in VT, which would be a bit of a hassle (and some of the ones I inherited from my grandfather are worth some hefty amounts). Nothing I couldn't work around if I had to but ME and NH wouldn't be such a problem with that. I know I could bring my hunting rifles and shotgun along into NY without a problem as long as I follow their storage/transportation rules (and the hunting in upstate NY can be quite good).

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Re: another potential forestry student...
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2009, 04:09:29 PM »
Hi, I am a new forestry student, who was looking into almost all the schools your going to.  I applied to the SUNY Ranger school, as well as Paul smiths college, The university of maine orono, and unity in maine.  You should know, that both the ranger school and paul smiths(where I am now) allow you to have personal firearms on campus during hunting seasons.  I am looking forward to hunting some
ADK deer this season.  If you are interested in a 2 year degree, the Ranger school is, IMO, the best 2 year education around here.  Paul smiths has a great reputation also.  But, in Maine, a VT student can recieve in state tuition, plus half, if their major is not offered in VT.  UVM offers a BS in forestry, not an AAS.  So, if you go to either Umaine orono(which does offer a forest tech degree), or Fort kent for an AAS forestry, you can recieve a tuition break.  Thats a little incentive, I think.  I personally am liking the ADK's , even though they are a bit different than the NEK where i'm from.(Danville)  If I was going for a forest tech. degree, I would of chose the Ranger school, personally.  I have been told that with a 4 year degree, you will start out with the same jobs as a forest tech degree, possibly for a few years.  The difference is, the 4 year degree allows for you to advanve in the field.  This is what ive been told, though.  I am going for a degree in industrial forest operations, and although i am tempted to be done in 2 years, i think i will personally benefit from the 4 year program.
Hope i helped a bit.

Maine seems to be cheapest for tuition (with the discount), NH the highest, and NY slightly under NH, even with a slight break in tuition from NH as a New England student. I could get the tuition break in NH and ME for a 2 year degree since it's not offered in Vermont (and truth be told I'm not too keen on living near Burlington either). I think whatever I get for financial aid may have to determine things to a large degree. Now depending on what credit I get for classes I've already taken for the core requirements could change the picture a bit too. The NY Ranger School does seem to have a good reputation from what I've read, but then, so too do ME and NH but the extra semester at ME seems sort of odd. If I went to ME I think I'd rather be in Fort Kent than near Orono (though I'd prefer being in Orono, ME over Burlington, VT too).

Most of my gun collection is in handguns which I couldn't even legally posess in NY unless just going through the state to another state or to a specific pistol competition, so if I went with NY I'd have to store them with someone here in VT, which would be a bit of a hassle (and some of the ones I inherited from my grandfather are worth some hefty amounts). Nothing I couldn't work around if I had to but ME and NH wouldn't be such a problem with that. I know I could bring my hunting rifles and shotgun along into NY without a problem as long as I follow their storage/transportation rules (and the hunting in upstate NY can be quite good).



I know that Maine has a very good reputation for forestry programs too.  Orono is a much larger campus, but it isnt quite like burlington.  Its still a very large school, and you may be looking for the small school experience.  If thats the case, I would reccomend Fort kent.  Unity, when I visited, seemed a little too "green"  if you get my thinking.... It wasnt a place where a hunter ( or shooter) would be made comfortable, even though firearms were allowed on campus.  Thats just the feeling I got.  I was looking into fort kent, but didnt care for being that far away from home.
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Offline CJennings

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Re: another potential forestry student...
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2009, 08:00:47 PM »
Yeah I know what you mean by that "green" feeling. One college I considered for when I was going for my history degree had that feeling so I went elsewhere. I don't like the emotional nonsense most of the "green" crowd buys into.

And I do prefer small, less crowded places. You noticed one slight downside to Fort Kent I noticed, it's probably a 9 hour drive from me, give or take a bit. Quite the drive, but at least most of it should be nice and scenic.

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Re: another potential forestry student...
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2009, 08:48:26 PM »
If your looking for a smaller school, dont rule out Paul smiths.  The campus is 14,000 acres, but, there isnt alot of people here.  The ranger school is seriously small though- I was told around 40 kids per class?  Fort kent is a real haul, and the weather up there is a bit different.  If you dont mind snow, then, you'd be fine.  The forest tech program at paul smiths requires summer courses, though. so it is basically 2.5 semesters too.
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Re: another potential forestry student...
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2009, 09:07:43 PM »
I won't rule out Paul Smith's but it is a lot more expensive than the others. Yeah I noticed Smith's has a summer semester required too so it's about the same as ME. The Ranger School looks like it's a nice school, in a pretty rural spot. The only downside I see is that it's in NY. I don't mind snow, winter's my favorite season. Now if only my vegetable gardens would like the winter as much as me.  ;D

Offline gemniii

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Re: another potential forestry student...
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2009, 09:53:37 PM »
As a former Vermonter, a 1973 graduate of UVM, a landowner in Vt, Va, and Ms I understand where the OP is coming from.
He likes to hunt and trap, he can probably shoot, he likes being outside, he's not afraid of the cold or rugged conditions.
He should DEFINITELY consider Ranger School.


Although Fort Benning isn't a 4 yr. degree, a 4yr tour (especially if he makes officer) wiill set him up for life and provide plenty of post grad education.

I'm a 'Nam era Vet and probably the best change in my life (other than meeting my present wife) was joining the Army in Albany, NY in 1975.  When I got out in '78 I was able to buy 75 acres in Fletcher, Vt. joined the Army Corps of Engineers, and am now ready to retire with a decent pension.
/edit - with a 4yr degree already OCS is a STRONG chance.

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Re: another potential forestry student...
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2009, 09:25:47 AM »
Not that one, the other Ranger School. http://www.esf.edu/rangerschool/  :D

I like to shoot but I don't like my targets to shoot back... ;)

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Re: another potential forestry student...
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2009, 04:25:08 PM »
I've been a forestry technician for quite awhile, and I have to say it's the most fun I've ever had and gotten paid for it.  If you want to get your feet wet without a big commitment, get a summer job with a contract crew cruising timber.  If you like it, go to school, build your credentials, and have a blast.  I know I sure am!

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Re: another potential forestry student...
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2009, 06:19:56 PM »
I've been a forestry technician for quite awhile, and I have to say it's the most fun I've ever had and gotten paid for it.  If you want to get your feet wet without a big commitment, get a summer job with a contract crew cruising timber.  If you like it, go to school, build your credentials, and have a blast.  I know I sure am!

Contract crew, I assume that means a crew contracted to cruise timber? Know of any such companies, including any in the eastern U.S., an inexperienced person could get a job with? I've tried getting a summer job with the USFS but lots of other people have the same idea it would seem so no luck so far, but I haven't given up...

It sounds like it'd be a good match for a job for me. I have no problem walking around the woods a lot with a lot of gear, do it when I go trapping (the most fun I have gotten paid to do, it just doesn't pay enough these days), etc., and I'd love to be out there working rather than in the city...

Offline VTWOODKID

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Re: another potential forestry student...
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2009, 10:18:00 PM »
Im a vermonter as well, but im attending paul smiths college in new york. I hate the state for several reasons as well, but i like the school. Like you said, im not living here permenantly, so its not that bad. Im enrolled in the 4 year degree program, and like it quite a bit.

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Re: another potential forestry student...
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2009, 09:52:13 AM »
VTWOODKID- are you a freshman?  whats your major? what dorm?  I am in the industrial operations program, and i am staying in LMS.  What part of VT are you from?  I am from Danville. 
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Re: another potential forestry student...
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2009, 10:24:36 PM »
Know of any such companies, including any in the eastern U.S., an inexperienced person could get a job with?

Try the phone book!  Call around late winter/early spring -- SOMEBODY will need a hand, rest assured!  Don't overlook arborist outfits -- "urban" forestry uses a lot of the same techniques, so you'll surely learn plenty.

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Re: another potential forestry student...
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2009, 11:04:27 AM »
Casey, If you like and you want to go into forestry service, definitely you will need a degree. Forestry is slow at the moment, but it will get better and you also have to consider that there will always' be opening's to replace the old timers that retiring from the forestry service. Usually, wages will always go up from what they are now and secured government jobs are the way to go. Just my two cents worth.



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Re: another potential forestry student...
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2009, 12:23:06 PM »
Here's another good Forestry Tech school and guns/hunting are no problem-


http://www.coloradomtn.edu/cms/one.aspx?pageId=3502906&gclid=COTFgrir750CFRcjawodvmX2Kg
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