The North Carolina Forest Service (NCFS) encourages private forest owners to employ professional consulting foresters whenever these foresters can provide needed forestry services. NCFS personnel are limited in the amount and type of timber management assistance offered and refer many projects to consultants.
Consulting foresters provide services to the general public on a fee or contractual basis. A "consulting forester" is defined by North Carolina G.S. 89 B-2 as one who:
- is registered by the North Carolina State Board of Registration for Foresters;
- 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 who has shown equivalent knowledge by passing the written examination administered by the State Board of Registration of Foresters as provided in this chapter;
- is governed by the Code of Ethics of the Society of American Foresters;
- is competent to practice forest management, appraisal, development, marketing, protection and utilization for the benefit of the general public on a contractual or contingency basis;
- has not engaged in any practice that constitutes a conflict of interest or in any way diminished his or her ability to represent the best interests of clients;
- and has filed annually an affidavit with the North Carolina State Board of Registration of Foresters attesting to his or her compliance with the conditions of this chapter.
Selecting a Consulting Forester
Landowners may want to request information from several consulting foresters before selecting one. Landowners should evaluate the forester's qualifications, references and fee estimates for specific services needed before choosing a consulting forester.
Once a qualified consulting forester has been selected, a contract or written agreement should be signed. It should include: a list of services to be performed; how and when they will be performed; who will perform them; and the cost of the services agreed upon.
Full-time and Part-time Consulting Foresters
A full-time consulting forester is defined as a forester who spends 75% or more of his or her time providing forestry consulting services. A part-time consulting forester provides forestry services but consulting is not his or her primary source of employment. Full-time consulting foresters are designated on this list by the letters (FTC) following their name. Part-time consulting foresters are designated by the letters (PTC) following their name.
Forestry organizations to which consulting foresters may belong are described below. The organizations to which an individual belongs are listed beside his or her name. The letters in parenthesis ( ) at the end of the title of each organization will appear beside the consulting forester's name.
- Association of Consulting Foresters of America Inc. (ACF)
The ACF is a nationwide organization of professional foresters who serve the public in all forest-related interests. The association has chapters in several states, including North Carolina. The Association's objectives include the promotion of good forestry practices and the advancement of ethical and professional standards in consulting forestry.
ACF Membership Requirements:
- be a graduate of a recognized professional forestry degree granting program;
- have two or more years of practical forestry experience;
- provide forestry consulting services to the general public on a fee or contract basis as his/her principal work activity;
- comply with ACF's professional and ethical standards;
- and obtain 20 hours of relevant continuing education every two years.
ACF Foresters Serve the Public
ACF professionals serve private landowners as well as attorneys, accountants, financial institutions, forest industry and many others in one or more of the following capacities:
- Timber inventory and appraisal
- Reforestation and silviculture
- Timber marketing and sales
- Timber trespass and damage appraisal
- Forest management and planning
- Estate planning and division
- Expert witness and conflict resolution
- Watershed management
- Forest taxation counseling
ACF Areas of Interest
ACF is active in areas of primary interest to consulting foresters and his/her clients. These include:
- Educating and increasing the awareness of the public, legislators and others on issues sensitive to private landowners and their ability to practice good forest management
- Tracking legislation directly affecting private forestry. This includes private property rights, wetlands, clean water issues, endangered species, and more.
- Educating and assisting landowners in good forest stewardship of their lands
- Setting the standards for the consulting forestry profession
- Cooperating and working with federal and state governments to protect private property rights
- Society of American Foresters (SAF)
The SAF is a national professional society for all foresters, regardless of whether they are employed by the public, private or industrial sector. The SAF requires members to have either a bachelor's degree in forestry from a SAF-accredited subscribe to a professional code of ethics published by the society.
institution or a bachelor's degree in a field closely allied to forestry plus
three years of substantial forestry-related experience. Members of the SAF
For more information, contact Paula Day (919-857-4832).