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What are Forestry Consultants?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 June 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Forestry consultants are individuals who help companies, landowners, and government agencies make decisions regarding the proper use of forest land and resources. Consultants usually offer an array of services, from wildlife preservation planning to deciding on the most responsible strategies for harvesting and selling timber. They frequently travel to clients' land to conduct firsthand surveys, count trees, and analyze the overall condition of a forest. Many professionals work for regional or national private consulting firms, though some experienced forestry consultants are self-employed, contracting their services to various clients.

Landowners and timber businesses often benefit from the guidance of knowledgeable forestry consultants. Professional consultants can help businesspeople determine when and how to remove timber from an area while still promoting sustainability and preserving forest ecology. Many forestry consultants help timber sellers find and negotiate with potential buyers in an effort to maximize profits. They also ensure that companies and individuals remain in compliance with local, state, and federal laws regarding pollution and environmental protection, and work to educate people about the importance of conservation.

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Many consultants collaborate with land management experts and other forestry professionals to conduct extensive field research, which usually includes counting trees, making detailed property maps, and investigating native populations of plants and animals. They also make use of previous case studies and statistics to determine the effects of deforestation on a given area of land. Based on their findings, forestry consultants are able to help people make the best possible decisions regarding clearing forest land, harvesting trees, or establishing wildlife reserves.

Forestry consultants who work for larger firms usually hold bachelor's degrees or higher in environmental science or forestry. Some states, regions, and nations require consultants to obtain licenses by passing written exams and gaining supervised experience in the field. It is common for self-employed consultants to pursue master's or doctoral degrees to expand their resumes and their expert knowledge. Many professionals seek certification from nationally recognized organizations, such as the Society of American Foresters, to further improve their credentials.

It is common for a forestry consultant to spend significant amounts of time on location in private and government forests to conduct firsthand research. They frequently meet with landowners, government officials, or forestry company heads so they can discuss matters in person and present detailed written plans. The rest of a consultants' work usually takes place in his or her own home or office, conducting Internet research, making phone calls, and writing proposals and contracts.

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