Getting skilled assistance with your forest decisions


Professional foresters
Foresters are trained environmental scientists who manage woodlands to meet the desires of society and the goals of private forest owners. They view forests as an important long-term, renewable resource, sustained through wisely chosen short-term actions.

How to choose a forester to assist with timber harvest planning

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Cornell Cooperative Extension County Associations link Cornell's public colleges t
o New York's citizens. County associations provide a variety of educational programs, like woodlot workshops, chainsaw safety classes, practical publications, and staff to answer your questions or direct you to good resources. Your county Cornell Cooperative Extension office is an ideal place to begin if you are not certain where to go, or if you are interested in a specific educational program, such as landowner workshops or 4-H.

MFO's - Master Forest Owner/COVERTS volunteers
Master Forest Owner/COVERTS volunteers are part of Cornell Cooperative Extension program that trains private forest landowners to provide free non-technical assistance to other private forest landowners. Master Forest Owners (MFO) are a peer-counseling program, and have been effective in providing private forest landowners with a "neighbor" who has asked the same questions and had the same concerns. MFOs will make a free visit to your property and help you focus you questions and determine where to look for technical advice. There are over 140 MFOs throughout New York that can be contacted through your local office of Cornell Cooperative Extension. If you have additional questions about the MFO program, you can contact the MFO program director Gary Goff at (607) 255-2824.

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation - Cooperative Forest Management
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is the state's lead agency for the delivery of technical forestry assistance. In the DEC, the Division of Lands and Forests through their Bureau of Private Land Services, coordinates the Cooperative Forest Management program. The CFM program often provides free on-site visits to private forest landowners and assists in the delivery of technical needs. For landowners who can clearly state their management objectives, or those who need assistance with technical questions of forest management or timber harvesting, the CFM program is an appropriate place to initiate your quest for assistance. Contact your nearest regional office of DEC, or look in the government section of your phone book for a local office.

Forest Land Owner Associations
Landowner associations are well established and very active in New York. These landowner associations are dedicated to the needs of the private forest landowners, and are private organizations, comprised of private forest landowners. Landowner associations typically have a newsletter or magazine that provides articles, calendars of events, and additional information of interest to landowners. There are three primary landowner associations in New York:
- New York Forest Owners Association (NYFOA) phone: (800) 836-3566
- Catskill Forest Association (CFA) phone: (914) 586-3054
- Tug Hill Resource Investment for Tomorrow (THRIFT) (315) 376-5595


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Please cite source: Cornell Cooperative Extension, 2004
Written by James Ochterski, CCE - Schuyler County