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Consulting Forester Directories

DIRECTORY DESCRIPTION

Available listings of consultants in the state of Washington and in neighboring states were used in preparing this directory. Also, representatives of government agencies and other individuals were contacted to learn the names of additional consultants. Once a master file was put together, a survey form was sent to all those listed. No endorsement is implied nor intended for any consultant. The directory is simply a listing of consultants who responded to a survey.

To be listed, individuals were requested to meet the following criteria for a consultant:

  • Services available to the general public on a contract or fee basis, with the fee paid by the client.
  • All work performed in compliance with legal requirements for the practice of forestry.
  • No conflicts of interests (for instance, wood procurement); ability to serve the best and sole interest of clients or charges.
  • Services available in the state of Washington.

HOW TO CHOOSE A CONSULTANT

A consultant's business is based on satisfied clients. The person or company you hire should represent and serve your best interests in all matters concerning your timberlands.

Consultants may base their fees on the acreage of timberland involved; a percentage of the revenues from sales; dollars per thousand board foot product; amount of time required to perform the job; or, in the case of tree planting, the dollars per 1,000 seedlings planted. Cost should be on consideration in choosing a consultant, but a forester's experience, performance record, and understanding of your objectives are equally important.

There is no single best way to manage forest land. Goals and objectives of landowners vary widely. Choose a consultant who understands your needs and with whom you feel comfortable. Determine a consultant's qualifications by requesting information from the consultant and references from several other clients. Compare this information with cost estimates and references from several consultants before choosing one. The knowledge and experience of consulting foresters vary widely. No legal standards govern consultants in Washington.

As in any business arrangement, be aware of competing loyalties. Some foresters may be employed as timber buyers for forest products companies, others are associated with such companies or have potential conflict of interest involving other clients. The consultant is ethically bound to inform you of any possible conflicts of interest or even an appearance of such conflicts.

Once you have selected a consultant, sign an agreement or contract. This should include a list of services, how they are to be performed and who will perform them. For example, if boundaries are to be marked, who will search the records for property descriptions? Who will obtain the necessary permits, such as the forest practice application? If timber is to be sold, will it be by competitive bid, negotiated bid, or contract logging? How often will the consultant check during harvesting to assure that the job is done correctly? How will the volume of timber sold be figured out, and by whom? If a fuelwood sale is a possibility during or after the harvest, who will receive the proceeds?

National and regional shortages of energy and high quality timber are improving the economics for growing wood. Given the willingness of landowners to commit themselves to sound land management practices, growing timber will pay dividends to both short- and long-term financial benefits. Hiring a consultant can help your timber reach its potential if you select your consultant wisely.

*(Adapted from 1984 Montana Consultant Foresters, Montana Department of State Lands, Forestry Division, March 1984, compiled by Mark J. Lennon)

You may search for companies either by state, region within a state, or by specialization. As a group, consulting foresters are able to provide a wide variety of services to their clients. As a guide to these services, each consulting company has a list of specialized fields. If you have a particular need which is not listed, your consultant may still be able to provide that service or may know where help is available. Don't be afraid to ask.

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