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Professional Foresters

Alabama State Board of Registration for Foresters Do you need the assistance of a professional forester? If so you can contact a consulting forester or many forest industries have a landowner assistance program.

In Alabama any person who calls themselves a "forester" and works for hire on land that he does not own (state, federal and corporate lands excepted) must be registered by the Alabama Board of Registration for Foresters. You can examine the Code of Alabama that defines a registered forester, the Professional Rules of Conduct subscribed to by registered foresters, and approved Forms of Certification used by registered foresters.

Alabama State Board of Registration for Foresters

Types of Foresters

Acquisition Forester
A forester whose primary responsibility is to locate forestland that can be purchased by the company or organization he represents.

County Forester
A forester of the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) who provides assistance and education to landowners within a one or two county area.

Consulting Forester
A self-employed forester, who, for a fee, assists private landowners with forest management practices.  According to the Society of American Foresters, a consultant is a professional forester whose services are available to the general public on a contract or fee basis--with the fee paid by the client.  A consultant performs all work in compliance with legal requirements for the practice of forestry, such as registration and licensing.  A consultant remains free from conflicts of interest (for instance, wood procurement) to serve the best and sole interest of clients or charges. Some consultants provide general assistance; others specialize. If you would like to learn more about consulting foresters see "Managing Your Forest With the Help of a Consulting Forester".

Extension Forester

A forester who works for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System that develops and provides technical information for state forestry interests. Their primary responsibility is group education, including preparing materials for local and regional educational activities, working through local Extension and other agency and organization personnel.

Forest Ranger

A U.S. Forest Service forester in charge of part of a national forest referred to as a district. Forest rangers, or district rangers, supervise the management activities on their districts, including fire control, tree planting, recreational activities, and thinning and harvesting. District rangers do not provide assistance to private landowners.

Forest Supervisor

A U.S. Forest Service employee who coordinates all activities in a particular national forest but primarily supervises personnel and administers programs in the forest.

Industrial Forester
A forester employed by a forest-based industry. This individual may manage company-owned woodlands to produce forest products, may work with private landowners to purchase forest products for the company, or may do both. Some industrial foresters work with individual landowners to provide advice and assistance in promoting approved forest management practices (see Landowner Assistance Program Forester).

Landowner Assistance Program (LAP) Forester
An industrial forester that provides certain forest-related services to landowners. Depending on the company or organization, the LAP forester may provide management planning, assistance with practices such as site preparation, planting and harvesting. Some companies require the right of first refusal to the landowners' timber at harvest (at market price) for these services. Go to LAP Forestry Programs for a listing of services in Alabama.

Procurement Forester

An industrial forester who buys timber from private and public landowners. Some timber buyers and procurement personnel are not professional foresters.

Professional Forester

In the usual context, this term refers to a person who has graduated from a professionally accepted, 4-year, college forestry curriculum.

Registered Forester

Any person who has been registered and licensed by the Alabama Board of Registration for Foresters. Registration requires a combination of education, practical experience and successful passage of a registration examination. You can review the State of Alabama Code, and Rules of Professional Conduct for registered foresters. In Alabama, a person must be registered to use the term "forester" and provide management services on land they do not own (there are exceptions, such as industrial foresters working on company land)