Consulting foresters

Who should use a consulting forester?

Landowner meets with consultant
A qualified competent consulting forester can be an invaluable asset to forest landowners.

Management improvements on forestland are usually made one of three ways:

  1. By a landowner who has considerable forestry experience and available time to commit to projects such as timber sales, reforestation projects, vegetation control measures, prescribed burning, etc.
  2. By Forestry Commission foresters or other natural resource agencies who have professionals that can assist landowners with project planning and implementation. Many of these services, including those of the South Carolina Forestry Commission, are provided free of charge.
  3. By private consulting foresters (who charge for their services).

Some landowners may decide that a consulting forester is a more appropriate option for them. For instance, landowners whose situations are best described by any of the conditions below may want to consider using a consulting forester:

  • do not live in close proximity to their land
  • own a large amount of forest land
  • have limited time, experience or interest in becoming personally involved in the project
  • have very frequent timber sales or reforestation projects

Consulting foresters in South Carolina

The South Carolina Forestry Commission maintains a database of forestry consultants offering services to landowners in South Carolina. To be included in the database, consultants must employ a registered forester and must agree to abide by the Society of American Foresters’ (SAF’s) Code of Ethics adopted by the Board of Registration for Foresters.

Below are two resources to help landowners locate consulting forestry firms in South Carolina; one is a link to a PDF listing of these consulting foresters, and the other is a search tool into which you simply enter your ZIP code to find consulting foresters near you. Once you have selected one (or more) you are interested in, please read the information at the bottom of this page for more information about selecting a consulting forester.

  • List of consulting foresters (pdf)
  • Online search tool (enter your zip code below and select the number of results you wish to view)
    To view a printable version of a list of consulting foresters near your property, click on the “text only” link in the lower left hand corner below.

Selecting a consulting forester

A qualified competent consulting forester can be an invaluable asset to forest landowners. Such a professional can help you identify and realize forest management goals, maximize your returns from sale of forest products, and can provide personal attention to your forestry efforts. Selecting the right professional consulting forester is, therefore, of utmost importance to the landowner. Information is the key to selecting a consultant who meets your needs; don’t hesitate to ask about:

  1. Professional Qualifications:
    • Education/Degree obtained
    • S.C. Forester’s Registration Number*
    • Professional organizations, i.e. Association of Consulting Foresters (opens in a new window)
    • Experience in woodland management
  2. Can you provide management service other than timber sales?
    • Reforestation
    • Prescribed burning
    • Financial and tax advice
    • Firebreak and road establishment
    • Appraisals
    • Wildlife habitat improvement
  3. Will you prepare a written comprehensive Stewardship Management Plan for my property?
  4. Does your timber sale service include:
    • Location and marking of property lines prior to the sale Volume estimates and volume appraisals of timber to be cut
    • Advertisement to all potential buyers
    • Developing and enforcing a cutting contract
    • Close monitoring of all cutting operations.
  5. Will you give personal attention to all forestry-related transactions on my property?
  6. Will you provide local references from your clients who have forestry interests similar to mine?
  7. What is your fee schedule?
  8. Do you have associations or economic interests in any forest related business which might conflict with my interests as your client?
  9. If others on your staff will provide some of the services listed above, give that person’s qualifications:
    • Education/Degree obtained
    • S.C. Forester’s Registration Number* (if applicable) Professional organizations
    • Experience in woodland management

*According to South Carolina law, a person must qualify under one of the following provisions to obtain a forester’s registration:

  1. Possess a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry from an accredited college or university, have two years experience in forestry work and after June 1, 1991 pass the SC Forester’s Registration Examination.
  2. Have six years of forestry experience and pass the SC Forester’s Registration Examination.
  3. Have been actively involved in forestry work prior to enactment of the registration law (grandfather clause registration).