The Forestry Source - December 2017 - 1
nsu l Ed
g F tion:
December 2017* Vol. 22, No. 12
News for forest resource professionals published by the Society of American Foresters
Consulting Forestry: Best Management Practices for Success
IN T HIS
IS S U E
SAF Leadership News
See page 2 for news about changes in SAF's
Brian Clough, a biometrician at SilviaTerra,
writes that "Over the years, practicing foresters build up many rules of thumb. One of the
'rules' that we've heard is that variable-radius
plots are more 'forgiving' than fixed-radius
plots when it comes to incorrectly including
or excluding a borderline tree. Is this actually
the case? Using a similar style of analysis from
our previous Biometrics Bits columns, we can
arrive at a data-driven answer." Page 11.
Daniel Boone National Forest
Timber on the Daniel Boone National Forest is
almost entirely second-growth and, like most
of the under-managed Appalachian forests,
is suffering from infestations of insects and
disease, writes W. V. (Mac) McConnell. And
like many national forests in the western US,
agency statistics show a dramatic imbalance
between growth and harvest. Page 12.
Action on Diversity
"Like most of us, I'm no poster child for diversity and inclusion," writes Tom Davidson
in his SAF Leader Lab column. "I've told unseemly jokes, had embarrassing biases, and
looked the other away when others used explicit language in front of female colleagues,
the latter as recently as last year's SAF convention. I apologized to the young woman for my
negligence, and she graciously accepted, seeing it as minor in the scope of what she experiences every day. But awareness and apologies
are not enough. We each have to take more
personal action." Page 13.
This month's Continuing Forestry Education
calendar lists 35 classes, seminars, and webinars for December 2017 and January 2018.
D E PA RT M E N T S
Continuing Education Calendar
Consulting forestry is not for everyone," wrote Harry Wiant and John
Brooks in Introduction to Consulting Forestry, published by SAF in 2013 (see the
SAF Bookstore, tinyurl.com/yb8mmc2q).
"To be successful, you must be disciplined,
organized, a self-starter, and a hard worker, and you must have a tolerance for risk.
If you are successful, consulting can be
very profitable and rewarding, and with
time you'll feel more in control of your
own destiny. As a consultant you will wear
many hats: you will be a salesperson, a
service provider, an accountant, and an
office manager. Responsibility for keeping appointments, preparing agreements,
writing management plans, billing clients,
and paying vendors will fall on you. In addition, you will have to allocate time for
continuing forestry education workshops
or formal courses and participating in professional organizations, all while providing
consulting services to your clients."
About 15 percent of SAF members
are consultants, and they work in one- or
two-person shops, large companies with
dozens of employees, and everything in
between. In this edition of The Forestry
Source, you'll meet a handful of them, including Gus Gerrits, a forester with American Forest Management in Washington
State. Source editor Steve Wilent spent a
day with Gerrits as he monitored a harvest-
Gus Gerrits, right, a forester with American Forest Management in Washington State, talks with Doug Zepp, a
ing operation on behalf of an institutional
timberland owner (page 2).
What are the best management practices for success as a consulting forester?
A handful of certified foresters answer
that question, beginning on page 5. One
of those consultants, SAF Vice-President
Dave Lewis, CF, also talks about the value
of dual membership in SAF and the Associ-
ation of Consulting Foresters (page 8).
You'll also hear from Fran Belden, who
bought a 160-acre tree farm in California
with her husband, SAF member George
Belden, in 2008. After George died in
2012, Fran, who is not a forester, took over
management of the property, and she offers
her insights on consulting and consultants
from her unique perspective (page 9).
Drought Records: Log Cabins and Tree Rings
By Andrea Watts
s far as data collection methods
go, driving along country roads
searching for old bur oak trees or
log cabins is an enjoyable way to spend
time out in the field. "Admittedly, it is one
of the fun parts of my job," said Joseph
Zeleznik, CF, an SAF member and extension service forester with North Dakota
State University (NDSU), adding, "My
wife laughs at me."
The only drawback, if you can call it
a drawback, is that Zeleznik admits he's
always on the lookout while driving. Last
month, a Saturday road trip to visit a
friend in western Minnesota took longer
because he stopped to collect a sample.
"I was driving by and noticed [a landowner] had lost a large bur oak tree in a
windstorm," he explained. "I stopped by
and got permission to cut a sample off
the fallen tree. My initial estimate is that
it ages to 1719. It was about 300 years old
when it blew over in the storm."
While chatting with the landowner,
Zeleznik learned the family also had a log
cabin out in the woods. He took a hike
out to see it for himself and was excited by
what he saw: "There's a couple dozen logs
just waiting to take samples from."
How did Zeleznik transition from
conducting a fire history study in south-
west North Dakota in 2004 to reconstructing the state's climate record using
samples from bur oaks and log cabins?
Perhaps what served as the impetus
for the climate reconstruction research
was the opportunity in 2006 to sample a
massive old bur oak tree on private land
near the Sheyenne River. The landowner
was planning to take the tree down because it was dying, and he contacted the
university to see if it was interested in a
"I happened to be there at the time,
and wasn't going to turn that down,"
Zeleznik said. The tree-at 450 years
old-ended up being the oldest bur oak
ever recorded in the country.
Then in 2011, while visiting an NDSU
field site 15 miles away from the giant bur
oak, Zeleznik came across one of the two
log cabins on the property. Outside the
cabin were log segments that had been removed so a door could be put in. "I saw an
opportunity to hook up those cabin logs
with the chronology that we had from the
big old tree, and it worked," he said.
"Even though these samples were
about 15 miles apart, the major years correlated perfectly. If it was a really, really
dry year, such as 1842, it [showed up as]
a really narrow ring in all the samples. If it
Bur oak was the preferred building material for log
cabins in North Dakota. Photograph courtesy of
was a good year, like 1856, it was a really
wide ring in all the samples."
DROUGHT n Page 10