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why your woods matter.
professional help.
about incentives to help manage your woods.
Contact information
Use the Forestry Assistance Locator to find cooperating foresters, DNR service foresters or tax law forestry specialists for your county.
View the current Directory of Foresters [PDF].

Working with foresters

Harvesting Logs

When you select a private consulting or industrial forester, the ideal choice is an individual or company that has a good reputation with both landowners and timber buyers. The forester you choose should serve you and represent your best interests in all matters concerning your woodland.

Hiring a forester

When selecting a private consulting or industrial forester, make sure you check:

Affiliations with professional organizations whose members must meet education standards and adhere to a code of ethics
Years and type of experience
Fee structures (hourly, percentage, per acre basis)
Insurance (liability, errors and omissions, workers compensation insurance)
Availability throughout your entire project
Willingness to practice sustainable forestry which integrates environmental, economic and social concerns
Willingness to listen to your objectives
Special skills your job may require, such as log scaling and grading experience
Background information. To find out if any complaints have been filed against a company, contact the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection  [exit DNR] or the Better Business Bureau  [exit DNR]


When you hire a private consulting or industrial forester, it is important to have a written contract or a letter of agreement signed by both you and the forester. A written agreement will help avoid misunderstanding and make clear what is expected. Whenever you enter into a contract or other legal agreement, you should consult with an attorney or other appropriate licensed advisor (such as an accountant, tax preparer, surveyor or realtor) if you have questions. DNR foresters cannot provide specific legal or tax advice, or act as your agent.

Here are some things to consider including in your contract with a private consulting or industrial forester:

Location and description of property
Whose responsibility it is to determine and mark property or project boundaries
Description and time frame of services to be performed
Frequency of inspections or other supervisory duties (in the case of timber harvests)
Required documentation, reports or forms to be completed
Legal requirements for the work to be performed (permits, cutting notices, etc.)
Ownership of data such as timber inventory, survey notes and maps
Amount you agree to pay and the schedule for payment
Penalties for failure to meet contract terms

For more items to consider in your agreement, see this information about Contracting with a Consulting Forester [exit DNR].

The DNR does not guarantee the performance or services provided by private consulting or industrial foresters, including cooperating foresters.

If you have a complaint, contact the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection  [exit DNR] (1-800-422-7128), or the Better Business Bureau [exit DNR]. DNR foresters are also available to assist you.

Last revised: Tuesday June 18 2019