Forests cover more than one third of the United States and over sixty percent of the land in North Carolina. Over half of the acres are owned by private, nonindustrial landowners. Private lands are owned for many reasons from esthetic to economic. Whatever your reason is, you need a professional forester to help you establish and meet your personal ownership goals and objectives.
A forester can help you
- Inventory your forest to learn its extent, quality and value
- Identify opportunities, problems and needs
- Develop a forest resource management plan
- Reestablish trees on bare land
- Convert poor stands into productive stands of desired species
- Improve wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities
- Enhance ecological diversity
- Protect soil and water quality
- Improve protection from fire
- Use fire in a prescribed burn to accomplish management purposes
- Boundary marking
- Prevent or control harmful insects and diseases
- Select timber for harvest
- Sell timber at a fair price
- Administer harvest activities to prevent damage to the soil and injury to the remaining stand
- Take advantage of financial incentives and other help offered by public agencies, industrial firms and tax laws
- Review your tax situation
- Obtain inventories and values for estate settlement
- Buy or sell a forest property
A Consulting Forester
What is a Consulting Forester?
A consulting forester represents, for a fee, the best interests of his/her clients in all matters concerning the forest. A consulting forester can improve the quality of the forest environment and increase the production of marketable products. When the trees become merchantable, they can secure buyers and supervise the timber sale. The fees charged by a consultant may be based on an hourly or daily rate, forest acreage, or a contract price based on a percentage of gross revenues from the sale of forest products. The cost of services can be repaid by faster tree growth and the higher prices received for timber that is marketed correctly.
What Are the Qualifications?
As in all professions, the knowledge and experience of consulting foresters vary widely “Consulting forester” means a person who: (a) is registered by the State Board of Registration for Foresters; (b) is a technically educated professional forester who is a graduate of a forestry curriculum of a college or university and who holds a bachelor’s or higher degree in forestry; or has shown equivalent knowledge by passing the written examination administered by the State Board of Registration for Foresters; (c) is governed by the Code of Ethics of the Society of American Foresters; (d) is competent to practice forest management, appraisal, development, marketing, protection and utilization for the benefit of the general public on a fee, contractual or contingency basis; (e) has not engaged in any practice that constitutes a conflict of interest or in any way diminishes his ability to represent the best interest of his clients; and (f) has filed annually an affidavit with the State Board of Registration of Foresters attesting to his compliance. Many qualified consultants are certified members of the North Carolina Society of Consulting Foresters – an organization that promotes the service, practice, and standards of consulting forestry and seeks to strengthen its ethical and professional standards. Consulting foresters may also be members of the Association of Consulting Foresters or the Society of American Foresters.
The Value of a Consulting Forester
“If I hire you to sell my timber, will I get my money’s worth?” It is a question that every landowner has thought and every consultant has been asked. While consulting foresters provide critical technical assistance in all phases of forest management, the question of economics and “money in the landowners’ pocket” usually seems to be the most important concern. Selling timber is usually done periodically or may even be a once in a lifetime event for landowners and it must be done correctly. The actual timber sale is only one part of the many professional tasks provided by a consulting forester but it is usually the most important to an owner.
It has been studied and proven that timber sales that involve a consulting forester (whether it was a per unit or lump sum sale) brought a higher value to the landowner. On per unit timber sales that involved a consultant yield on average 11% to 26% higher unit prices. On lump sum sealed bid sales, values increased a minimum of 12% when a consultant was involved.
Get a Professional Working for You
A consulting forester is an advocate for the private landowner. Let Timberlands Unlimited look out for your best interest and help you and your family or firm manage your timberland.