The Consultant - 2006 - (Page 43)

Consultant’s Forum A Practical Course in Forest Consulting By Dr. Michael S. Fountain F Dr. Michael Fountain or more than 10 years, Mike S. Walker, ACF, and Suzanne B. Walker, ACF, have been informing forestry students at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) about consulting forestry. Both are SFA alumni, and they want to help fill a void in the students’ education. Mike came to me with an idea to incorporate a day into our summer field station that would highlight relationships between a consultant and a private landowner. The students are divided into two- or three-person crews and given a revised sale prospectus from an actual timber sale developed by the consultant. The students are introduced to the process used by the landowner and consultant to prepare the property for the timber sale. The students then cruise the tract as if they are timber buyers representing various companies or mills in our region. Thus, each crew has different price restrictions and varying mill specifications. The exercise culminates with a bid opening where the students submit their bids. The exercise allows the students to see both sides of a timber sale. The exercise is graded on their documentation of the procedures they used to develop the bid, not on winning the bid. In 2004, Mike and I were having our annual discussion about the field station exercise when we realized that there was much more to consulting forestry that we were now presenting to the students. Additionally, I knew of several other universities offering courses in forest consulting. Consulting forestry is greatly expanding due to the shift from “in-house” foresters working for industrial and governmental agencies to outsourcing the same services by private consulting firms. A decision was made to offer such a course at SFA to further prepare our graduates to be successfully employed. However, none of our faculty had the experience or background to conduct the course. Mike suggested that he solicit the assistance of ACF members who lived and worked in east Texas. We set up a meeting on campus and both arrived early hoping other ACF members would attend. We were extremely pleased when more than a dozen ACF members attended and were willing to assist in teaching the course. We penciled out a tentative syllabus, tailored somewhat on a course offered at West Virginia University, but also focused on some local issues. Professional ethics was another subject we wanted to include. We met with the group and came up with a plan for the course material and a commitment from the group to serve as the primary lecturers. A notice about

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Consultant - 2006

Executive Director’s Message
President’s Message
America's Forests – Resilient and Productive
Forests of the Pacific Northwest: Sustainable Use and Resiliency
St. Helens Tree Farm 25 Years After Eruption
Forestry in Gloucester County, Virginia – Past, Present and Future
Ecosystem Services: Seller Beware
Maybe Money Does Grow on Trees …
Protecting Productive Private Property
Hug a Forester…And a Tree
A Practical Course in Forest Consulting
Clare Doig, ACF – A Resilient Forester
A Review of ACF Membership Guidelines
Legislative and Policy Activism: Withstanding the Forces of Man

The Consultant - 2006