How To: Find a Reputable Forester

Forest Service Research Forester Susan Stout examining a tree

There are several online resources available for finding a forester you can hire to help meet your land management goals. There are a few types of credentials, including the Society of American Foresters’ Certified Forester credential and the Association of Consulting Foresters member requirements; both require a bachelors degree in Forestry from an accredited forestry program and several years’ experience. 

You may want to begin with a service forester, one who is hired by your state’s department of natural resources, division of forestry, or university extension. 

Below are two documents that explain the types of credentials and how you might want to select a person to hire. They also offer suggestions of material to gather before you meet with a forester, such as aerial photos, and questions to ask before you hire someone.

USFS Northeastern Area -- Landowners Top 10 FAQs: Finding a Good Forester or Logger

Univ. of Wisconsin Extension -- Forestry Facts: Hiring a Consulting Forester (requires adobe acrobat reader)

Next, you’ll want to find a few names of foresters to interview. Both SAF and ACF keep online lists of their members.

SAF -- Hiring a Certified Forester

ACF -- Find an ACF Forester 

Of course, another great way to find a reputable forester in your area is to ask nearby landowners like you. Once you’re satisfied that a forester will meet your technical needs, your neighbors can tell you how comfortable the forester made them feel, how straight-forward the forester was about pricing and meeting deadlines, and other less technical aspects of professional forestry.