Time is a valuable commodity, so the cost of services is based on time spent with a client. Private foresters (sometimes called consulting foresters) in Vermont are licensed as professionals by the state. Most private foresters’ incomes are derived from payments from their clients, basically forest landowners, for time devoted to their forest. Most professional foresters do not provide logging services, and most loggers are not professional foresters, and should not be used to develop management plans. You can visit the Secretary of State’s website to look up the status of any licensed forester working in Vermont.
A Forester’s Role in Managing Your Woodlands May Involve:
- Discussing management plans and activities to be accomplished, based on landowner objectives and forest conditions
- Cruising your woodlands to determine tree species, tree conditions, and wood volumes
- Writing a management plan that meets landowner objectives
- Evaluating plan progress, commonly referred to as “inspecting” and completing an inspection 004 when needed for Tree Farm compliance
- Helping landowner identify logger, negotiate contracts, and oversee timber harvesting operations when applicable
While the initial contact between a forester and a Tree Farmer may be free, or of nominal cost, time spent advising, educating, developing the management plan, or evaluating plan progress will obviously result in billable services. Some foresters charge by the hour, and some have established fees based on specific services or acreages involved. It is best to discuss costs with your forester early in the process to ensure both parties understand what is going to happen, what it will cost, and what the limits are.
Finally, the overall cost of participation in the TF program is generally the cost of dealing with your forester plus a $30/year administrative fee, payable to VWA, for:
- Maintaining the state TF database
- Maintaining the state forester database
- Liaison with the national organization
- Providing forester training
- Performing administrative duties
Pay your $30 Vermont Tree Farm Administrative fee here:
For an optional $25/year we recommend a subscription to Woodland, the national quarterly publication available from American Forest Foundation who administers the American Tree Farm System. The magazine has good articles about other Tree Farmers, forest management, tax issues, equipment, regulations, and wildlife.
Consider Joining the Vermont Woodlands Association (VWA). The VWA is the Vermont sponsoring organization of the Tree Farm Program in Vermont, and your local source of Tree Farm and woodland information, advocacy in state government, and education. Costs are dependent on your acreage and membership includes a quarterly newsletter, regular e-newsletter, a subscription to Northern Woodlands Magazine, invitations to interesting and educational activities, such as Forestry School workshops, outings, field days, Project Learning Tree, Walk in the Woods, and more. Your membership in VWA will help the organization sustain its Voice for Healthy Forests, continue its support of Vermont Tree Farm, and provide the many learning and networking opportunities valued by woodland owners like you.