As the landowner’s trusted advisor, the forestry consultant provides information, options, guidance, and advice about forest, land, wildlife, and ecosystem management. The landowner’s objectives are of paramount importance in guiding the process, and the forestry consultant is neutral in securing information and giving advice until the landowner decides on overall objectives or on a course of action. The forestry consultant then becomes the landowner’s biggest advocate and does everything within reason to ensure that the preferred activities are completed in the most efficient and effective manner possible to achieve the stated objectives.
At a high level, the forestry consultant’s role as advocate requires an understanding of complex natural ecosystems, silvicultural practices, plant physiology, wildlife biology, economics, law, accounting, geomatics, biometrics, and many other elements of related professional disciplines. There is no “one size fits all” in natural resource management. Each landowner’s objectives drive the overall management plans and strategies, and those objectives may change with changing natural, personal, professional, market, and neighboring property conditions. Natural ecosystems also evolve on their own over time. The ability to meld natural processes with silvicultural treatments at the forest and landscape level requires someone who understands and appreciates the subtle nuances of natural systems.
At the more detailed level, whether the activity is timber stand improvement, invasive species management, endangered species management, prescribed burning, timber sale administration, inventory and appraisal, land use planning, wildlife management, ecosystem management, watershed analysis, best management practices implementation, geospatial design and implementation, reforestation, tree improvement practices, or any of the other myriad natural resource practices or issues, the forestry consultant must be able address issues or implement activities and understand the effects of any action on the intricate balance of natural ecosystems. To say the least, complexities abound. The ability to unwind those complexities so the landowner’s objectives are accomplished without sacrificing other benefits is the measure of a good forestry consultant.
For over thirty years the foresters, wildlife biologists, and ecologists at Southern Forestry Consultants have provided services to a variety of landowners across the US South. Dealing with complex landowner objectives and developing satisfactory solutions are our daily routine. Each client and their corresponding objectives are treated with due care and diligence. We don’t paint with broad strokes, rather our attention to every detail ensures successful solutions to the specific tasks at hand and to the broader forest and property level objectives.