i've never felt the urge to join the guild, partly because of the off-putting attitude of superiority that comes across in statements like this, "Guild members...are the best in the field". there is no doubt that members of the guild tend to be good foresters, with a wealth of knowledge. however, joining requires sponsorship, it also requires money, and attending a national guild meeting. some of us aren't interested in the game.
Originally Posted by Northwoodsforester
i do not look down at any guild members, nor do i see myself as better than guild members. i am not smarter or a better forester because of any membership, either SAF, guild, tree farm, state, whatever. i just do my job to the best of my ability, represent landowners in their quest to manage their forests, and recognize that there are thousands of individuals lucky enough to do what we do as foresters, namely, get paid to work in the woods. i keep abreast of silvicultural strategies, ideas, and information through CEU/contact hour/training, reading, and networking with other foresters, along with monitoring the results of my projects dating back to 1992 (when i started professionally). the guild, SAF, and tree farm certainly do help in networking, but are not the only avenues. to be clear, i am not opposed to those; they have benefits. i am a tree farm inspector, and served on the state committee more than a decade ago. but they are not the be all, end all of forestry.
as a consultant, i'm ultimately responsible to clients. i don't advertise (never have), other than through the results of projects i supervise. i garner work through word of mouth of clients, and logging contractors that have worked with me (i've worked with one or two on this board, ahem, PARKER, ahem). i see plenty of opportunities for more foresters; competition is good.
as far as managing a sugar orchard, i share your enthusiasm for cut-to-length harvesting as a preferred method, but it is not the only method. in fact, because of the crappy pulp markets, CTL right now has a difficult time competing for wood fiber. CTL is REALLY good at producing pulpwood and cordwood. it is less efficient for hardwood sawlogs and veneer than cable skidding, and for long skid distances compared to grapple/whole tree harvesters. CTL equipment is expensive to purchase; if CTL operators don't have good markets for pulp, they are going to be relegated to niche markets. so even though i might prefer CTL in a sugar orchard, the reality is that the lack of stability in the market might make their availability limited going forward. even though orchard clients might be willing to pay a premium for CTL, the problem is what do the CTL owner/operators do the rest of the year? they need to be productive year-round, not just in the winter months. (same for other forms of logging, too).
i also prefer negotiated contracts to bid projects for orchard work, finding the operator BEST suited to the particular project rather than the operator paying the most. it's more important to find an operator capable and willing to do the precise work needed in a sugar bush. don't be in a big rush, better to do the job well than fast. if it takes several stages, that's not a bad thing.
member, new hampshire timberland owners association
2x6 g.h. grimm company lightning evaporator. made in rutland vt.