Guide Forestry Licensing in Massachusetts

The Forestry Licensing Board (FLB) is a five member Board for the purposes of assisting and advising the Commonwealth in the administration of Licensed Foresters in MA including application review and approvals and renewals.


Table of Contents

Next Meeting of the Forestry Licensing Board

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

DCR Amherst Field Office 
40 Cold Storage Drive
Amherst, MA

6:00pm

License Applications and Requirements

To become a Licensed Forester, an applicant shall submit to the Director a completed application on a form developed by the Director accompanied by the required license fee in the form of a check or money order made payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

At a minimum, the application shall require the following information:

  • a list of colleges and universities attended, dates attended and graduation date
  • original or certified copies of all transcripts
  • a listing of work experience or resume for the 12 years preceding application, to include for each position:
    • name, address and phone number of employer
    • name of supervisor
    • title of position
    • description of responsibilities
    • dates employed
    • average number of hours worked per week
    • other pertinent information the applicant wishes to include; and
  • a disclosure of any convictions of, pleas of guilty to, or pleas of nolo contendere for forestry-related felonies.

A Society of American Forestry (SAF) certified Forester may apply by submitting appropriate documentation of his or her SAF certification and the disclosure statement required in (d) above.

Within 90 days of receipt of all required application materials, the FLB shall make a recommendation to the Director on such application.

Key Actions for License Applications and Requirements

Additional Resources for License Applications and Requirements

Continuing Forestry Education

The purpose of the continuing education requirement is to insure that practitioners obtain current scientific and technical information.

Each Licensed Forester shall complete an average of at least 20 Continuing Forestry Education ("CFE") credits per year to maintain his or her license. The average shall be calculated for the 3-year period coinciding with the terms of the license. Some of the activities that receive credits are listed by the SAF in the News Quarterly of the New England SAF and other publications. Upon request, the FLB will provide a list of activities that qualify.

College courses if approved for CFE credit under Categories I and II, must be successfully completed to receive credit and will be assigned at the rate of 1 CFE credit per lecture. An official transcript will serve as proof of completion. Upon request,the Director shall assign (as of April 20, 2007) 2 credits to activities outside of New England, which are usually not covered in the New England SAF publications, and to direct training under the supervision of a professional recognized in forestry or related fields.

The categories and weights of the CFE are as follows:

  • Category I is defined as: organized course work or activities in forestry or forestry related subject matters such as silviculture, mensuration, forest pest management, habitat management, urban forestry, or forest policy. Category I courses include seminars, short courses, and workshops conducted or sponsored by public or private organizations, as well as technical sessions of SAF meetings or conferences. Credit will be approved only for subject matter directly related to forestry or forest resources. Credit accrues at the rate of one hour for each hour of actual participation. A minimum of 8 of the CFE credits shall be in this category.
  • Category II is defined as: other organized course work or activities not specifically in forestry or forest-related areas, but which are professionally enriching or directly beneficial to the individual in his or her present position. Examples include general sessions of SAF or other professional meetings and course work in areas such as real estate, computer science, managerial and leadership skills, public speaking, or vertebrate zoology. Credit accrues at the same rate as for Category I. A maximum of 12 of the CFE credits may be in this category.
  • Category III is defined as the development, preparation, and presentation of course work or activities such as described in categories I and II that requires effort beyond the general scope of the individual's normal duties or job description. Credit accrues at the rate of 2 credits for each 1 hour of presentation. A maximum of 12 of the CFE credits may be in this category.
  • Category IV is defined as the preparation, writing and publication of forestry or forestry-related subject matter that requires effort beyond the general scope of the individual's normal duties or job description. Credit is 15 hours for each article that is technically reviewed and 5 hours for popular articles or series. A maximum of 10 of the CFE credits may be in this category.
  • Category V is defined as self-improvement in forestry and forestry-related subjects. Included is participation in or attendance at meetings not qualifying for category I or II such as those conducted by state boards of forestry or forestry licensing committees. Also included is self-improvement through reading appropriate technical publications or viewing audiovisual presentations on technical forestry subjects. Credit accrues at the rate of 1 hour for each hour of an activity. A maximum of 4 of the CFE credits may be in this category.
  • Category VI includes holding elected or appointed office or active committee assignments in the SAF, Massachusetts Association of Professional Foresters, or allied professional organizations such as the Wildlife Society, Society for Range Management, or Association of Consulting Foresters. Credit is 5 hours per year for elected office or chair of committee and 2 hours per year (as of April 20, 2007) 3 for active committee membership. A maximum of 10 of the CFE credits may be allowed in this category.

A Licensed Forester shall submit a record of CFE credits taken, together with supporting documentation, to the Director with the application for his or her license renewal. It shall be the responsibility of the applicant to keep a careful record of the credits taken. The Director shall make forms for recording and reporting CFE credits available.

Individuals or organizations providing activities, which they wish to have qualified for CFE credit, should submit the activity for approval and credit assignment. No activity can advertise credit before its sponsor has received written confirmation from the Director. The sponsor shall use a Credit Approval form developed by the Director. SAF approved CFE credits need not be approved by the Director.

Additional Resources for Continuing Forestry Education

Authority, Purpose and Regulations Review (302 CMR 14.01)

Authority
The Commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, promulgates 302 CMR 14.00 pursuant to the authority granted under M.G.L. c. 132, s.s. 47 through 50.

Purpose
M.G.L. c. 132, s.s. 47 through 50 requires the licensing of foresters. The purpose of 302 CMR 14.00 is to:

  • protect forest landowners by insuring that individuals offering professional forestry services meet minimum requirements of education, experience and professionalism
  • assure a minimum standard of care for the Commonwealth's forests and associated natural resources.

Additional Resources for Authority, Purpose and Regulations Review (302 CMR 14.01)

Definitions (302 CMR 14.02)

Director means the Director of the Division of State Parks and Recreation, Department of Conservation and Recreation, or his or her designee.

Experience of a Professional Nature means forest management planning and decision making which requires the integration of biological, social, and economic information over a multi-year time frame to meet objectives of a forest landowner, and, for credit purposes, shall have been substantially of a full-time nature.

Experience of a Technical Nature means forestry work in which the individual is responsible for implementing a forest management action or activity, and, for credit purposes, shall have been substantially of a full-time nature.

Forestry means the science, the art, and the practice of conserving and managing for human benefit the natural resources, including trees, other plants, animals, soil and water, that occur on, and in association with, forest lands.

Licensed Forester means one who has obtained a Massachusetts license to practice forestry under the provisions of 302 CMR 14.00 as promulgated pursuant to M.G.L. c. 132, s.s. 47 through 50.

Practice of Forestry means any professional services requiring the application of forestry principles and techniques including, but not limited to: forest inventory, forest management planning, timber appraisal, the responsibility for the direction and supervision of silvicultural activities, use and protection of forested areas, and the evaluation of the economic and biological consequences of forest management activities.

Professional Services means practice of forestry services offered to forest landowners or their agents but not to one's own lands or those of immediate family.

Revoke means to annul, void, cancel or take back a license to practice forestry.

Society of American Foresters or SAF means the national professional forestry organization which, by an act of Congress, is the only body authorized to accredit programs offering a bachelor's degree in forestry.

Suspend means to temporarily withdraw a license to practice forestry for a specified period of time.

About the Board (302 CMR 14.03)

Composition
The Director of State Parks and Recreation shall appoint as his or her agent a five member Forester Licensing Board (hereinafter referred to as the "FLB") for the purposes of assisting and advising him or her in the administration of M.G.L. c. 132, §§ 47 through 50 and  302 CMR 14.00.  One member shall be an employee of a federal, state, or a municipal government agency; one member shall be a licensed forester employed in the private sector; one member shall be employed as a faculty member of a college or university in a forest resources or natural resources management program; one member shall be a landowner of classified forest land; and, one member shall be a representative of an environmental organization, a land trust, or a consumer group. Four of the members shall have the qualifications necessary to obtain a license to practice forestry in Massachusetts as defined in, 302 CMR 14.00, two of whom shall be Licensed Foresters.

Term Limits
At the time the FLB is initially appointed, the Director of State Parks and Recreation shall appoint two members for one-year terms, two members for two-year terms, and one member for a three-year term.  Subsequent appointments shall be for three-year terms.  No member shall be appointed for more than two consecutive full terms.

Responsibilities
The FLB shall assist and advise the Director    of State Parks and Recreation by performing the following responsibilities:

   (a)   examining the credentials of all first time applicants to become a Licensed Forester, and recommending to the Director the names of those deemed by the FLB to be qualified or not qualified for such license;

   (b)   reviewing, upon the request of the Director, the credentials of individuals applying for renewal of a license to practice forestry in the Commonwealth, and recommending to the Director the names of all those deemed by the FLB to be eligible or ineligible;

   (c)   assisting and advising the Director in implementing disciplinary and investigatory proceedings as described in 302 CMR 14.05; and,

   (d)   maintaining a written record of any deliberations and decisions reached at each meeting.

Additional Resources for About the Board (302 CMR 14.03)

License, Application and Requirements (302 CMR 14.04)

License Required
As of June 30, 1999, no person shall hold him or herself out as a forester and engage in the practice of forestry in the Commonwealth, unless licensed in accordance with 302 CMR 14.04. A license shall not be required for persons who provide services in their capacity as tree wardens, arborists, utility foresters and urban foresters, and other like practices. If, however, these persons engage in the practice of forestry as defined in 302 CMR 14.02, and hold themselves out as foresters, they are required to have a Forester License.

Education and Experience Requirement
To become a Licensed Forester, an applicant shall demonstrate an understanding of the following core subject areas of forestry as they apply to forestry in Massachusetts: Forest Biology/Ecology; Forest Resource Measurements; forest Resource Management, including silviculture and timber harvesting; and, Forest Resource Policy and Administration. Not less than one year of work of a professional or technical nature must occur within the three years preceding the date of license application. The minimum education and experience requirements for a Licensed Forester shall be:

  • Successful completion of a Bachelors of Science (BS) degree from a SAF accredited professional forestry degree program, or a program approved by the Director of State Parks, and which included courses in each of the following areas:
    • Forest Biology/Ecology
    • Forest Resource Measurements
    • Forest Resource Management including, but not limited to, silviculture and timber harvesting
    • Forest Resource Policy and Administration
      plus three years of forestry work experience of a character that prepared the applicant to practice forestry competently. At least two of the three years of work experience must be experience of a professional nature, and up to one year may be work experience of a technical nature provided that not less than one year of work of a professional or technical nature must occur within the three years preceding the date of license application; or
  • Successful completion of a Masters degree (MS or MF) in forestry or related post-baccalaureate degree, which includes at least 30 credit hours, and courses in each of the following areas:
    • Forest Biology/Ecology
    • Forest Resource Measurements
    • Forest Resource Management, including, but not limited to, silviculture and timber harvesting;
    • Forest Resource Policy and Administration 
      plus three years of forestry work experience of a character that prepared the applicant to practice forestry competently. At least two of the three years of work experience must be experience of a professional nature, and up to one year may be work experience of a technical nature provided that not less than one year of work of a professional or technical nature must occur within the three years preceding the date of license application.
  • Successful completion of an Associates degree in a SAF-recognized technical forestry education program, or a technical forestry education program approved by the Director, plus five years of forestry work experience of a character that has prepared the applicant to practice forestry competently. At least four of the five years of work experience must be experience of a professional nature, and up to one year may be work experience of a technical nature provided that not less than one year of work of a professional or technical nature must occur within the three years preceding the date of license application.
  • Any additional forestry or natural resource management education at an accredited institution beyond the minimum requirements described in 302 CMR 14.04(2)(a), (b), and (c) may count for no more than one year of work experience.

License Application and Approval
To become a Licensed Forester, an applicant shall submit to the Director of State Parks and Recreation, a completed application on a form developed by the Director and accompanied by the required license fee in the form of a check or money order made payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Director shall approve or deny an application for a license within 90 days of receiving all required application materials; and provide each qualified applicant with a license. Applications not acted upon within 90 days of receipt of all required application materials shall be deemed approved.

Appeal of a License Denial
If an applicant's application is denied, he or she may appeal in writing to the Director of State Parks and Recreation within 30 days of the receipt of notification of license denial. The Director shall make a decision on an appeal within 90 days of receipt of the appeal.

Licensing Fees
The initial application fee is $100.00, and the annual renewal fee is $50.00. Fees may be adjusted by the Director to sustain the Forester Licensing program.

License Renewal
Not less than 30 days before the expiration of his or her license, a Licensed Forester shall submit a renewal application accompanied by the required fee to the Director of State Parks and Recreation.

If within 60 days subsequent of the date of license expiration any Licensed Forester fails to renew his or her license, he or she shall not engage in the practice of forestry until a new license is issued. Each Licensed Forester seeking the renewal of his or her license shall comply with the Director's policy on continuing education for Licensed Foresters.

Any Licensed Forester who fails to renew his or her license or fails to meet the continuing education requirements of the Director of State Parks and Recreation's policy shall be ineligible for application for a new license for a period of 12 months from the date of license expiration as depicted on the license. For any Licensed Forester who is called to, or serves on active duty with any branch of the armed forces for a period greater than 90 consecutive days during a license year, the CFE requirement for that year will be waived upon written request. Upon written request by any Licensed Forester, for good cause shown and documented, other service such as Peace Corps, extended jury duty, incapacitation due to illness or injury, the Director may waive the CFE requirement for that year.

Disciplinary Actions by the Director of State Parks and Recreation (302 CMR 14.05)

Revocation/Suspension
The Director of State Parks and Recreation may revoke or suspend a forester's license to practice forestry within the Commonwealth upon a finding that the forester has engaged in fraud, negligence, deceit, incompetence, unprofessional conduct or gross misconduct in the practice of forestry, or for any offense against the laws of the Commonwealth relating thereto. The Director may initiate proceedings under 302 CMR 14.05(3) upon receipt of notice that a Licensed Forester has been found guilty of or in violation of any forestry related federal, state, or municipal law or regulation.

Hearings
A Licensed Forester has 30 days after receipt of written notice of denial of renewal, suspension or revocation to request that the Director of State Parks and Recreation hold a hearing. Failure to request a hearing within 30 days of receipt of a notice of suspension or revocation shall result in automatic suspension or revocation of the license. The Director of State Parks and Recreation shall hold a hearing within 30 days of receipt of a request for a hearing, and shall provide reasonable notice of said hearing to the Licensed Forester.

Initiation of Investigatory Proceedings
Any person may file a complaint with the Director of State Parks and Recreation or the Forester Licensing Board concerning the conduct of a Licensed Forester. The Forester Licensing Board shall refer all complaints filed with it to the Director of State Parks and Recreation. The Director shall initiate proceedings under 302 CMR 14.05(3) upon receipt of a properly filed complaint.

A properly filed complaint shall be in writing and shall be either hand-delivered or mailed certified mail/return receipt requested to the Director of State Parks and Recreation or the Forester Licensing Board, Department of Conservation and Recreation contain the name and current address of the complainant, and shall set forth:

  • the name of the Licensed Forester whose actions are the source the complaint
  • the specific facts or circumstances giving rise to the complaint
  • the particular action or conduct in question
  • any provisions of federal, state or local law and regulation on which the complaint is based.

The Director of State Parks and Recreation shall send a copy of the complaint to the Licensed Forester who is the subject of the complaint by certified mail/return receipt requested to the last address on file with the Division, and to the FLB.

The Director of State Parks and Recreation shall review the complaint and determine whether proceedings to investigate the conduct of the Licensed Forester are warranted, and if so, request the FLB to initiate an investigation and render a decision in the matter.

Investigation
The chair of the FLB shall appoint one of the members of the FLB, or some other person or persons, to act as an investigator in the particular case, and shall forthwith notify in writing both the Licensed Forester against whom the complaint is registered and the complainant of that appointment.

If a member of the FLB files the initial complaint, that member must excuse himself or herself from all proceedings and deliberations pertaining to the complaint.

The investigator shall:

  • contact and question each party individually about the complaint and take such other actions as the investigator deems appropriate to investigate the charges
  • interview any other persons deemed appropriate
  • provide to the FLB a written report containing a summary of the evidence that, in the opinion of the investigator, could be proved at a disciplinary hearing
  • distribute copies of the investigative report to each member of the FLB.

FLB Decision and Appeal
The FLB shall review the investigator's report, and shall make a recommendation to the Director of State Parks and Recreation whether or not to reprimand, limit, restrict, suspend, or revoke the Licensed Forester's license. The Director shall inform the Licensed Forester and the complainant(s) of the Director's decision by certified mail/return receipt requested.

The Licensed Forester shall have 14 days after receipt of the Director of State Parks and Recreation's decision to file an appeal with the Director.

If there is an appeal, the Director of State Parks and Recreation shall conduct an adjudicatory proceeding in conformance with M.G.L. c. 30A.

Record.
Any decision or recommendation by the FLB on matters considered pursuant to 302 CMR 14.05 shall be by majority vote. Upon issuance, the FLB shall transmit any recommendation under 302 CMR 14.05(6), in writing, to the Director of State Parks and Recreation.

In the event of suspension or revocation, a copy of the FLB's recommendation and Director of State Parks and Recreation's order shall be issued at the expiration of the appeal period or after an adjudicatory proceeding to the equivalent body of each state in which the respondent Licensed Forester is licensed to practice.

Voluntary Surrender by a Licensed Forester
A Licensed Forester who is the subject of a complaint or an investigation into allegations of misconduct may voluntarily surrender his or her license. The Licensed Forester shall deliver to the Director of State Parks and Recreation, an affidavit stating that the Licensed Forester desires to voluntarily surrender the license and that:

  • The surrender is freely and voluntarily rendered
  • The Licensed Forester is not being subjected to coercion or duress
  • The Licensed Forester is aware of the implications of the surrender and agrees to the terms of the voluntary surrender as set forth by the Director of State Parks and Recreation
  • The Licensed Forester is aware that there is presently pending an investigation into allegations that the Licensed Forester has been guilty of misconduct, the nature of which the Licensed Forester shall specifically set forth
  • The Licensed Forester acknowledges that the material facts upon which the complaint is predicated are true.

Reinstatement
Unless ordered otherwise by the Director of State Parks and Recreation a person previously licensed as a Licensed Forester by the Director may:

  • apply for reinstatement of a revoked or voluntarily surrendered license after two years have passed from the date of revocation
  • apply for reinstatement or return to good standing following a period of license suspension or probation not sooner than two months prior to the expiration of the period of suspension or probation ordered by the Director of State Parks and Recreation, or consented to by the applicant.

If the Director of State Parks and Recreation denies an application for reinstatement, an applicant may not re-apply to the Director of State Parks and Recreation, for reinstatement until at least six months have passed since the date of denial of the application, unless otherwise ordered by the Director.

Notice of Director of State Parks and Recreation's Decision
If the FLB recommends that the Director of State Parks and Recreation reprimand the Licensed Forester, or limit, restrict, suspend, or revoke a license, then at the expiration of the appeal period or upon the completion of an adjudicatory proceeding, the Director shall promptly issue a notice setting forth the full name of the Licensed Forester, his or her professional address as it appears in the records of the FLB, and the fact that discipline has been imposed. Said notice shall state that the license has been revoked or voluntarily surrendered pursuant to 302 CMR 14.05, or that the license has been suspended and the time during which the Director's disciplinary action shall be in effect, or that a disciplinary action has been imposed, whichever is appropriate. The notice shall specify whether the license has been limited or restricted and the terms thereof which relate to the time, place or manner in which the Licensed Forester may practice. 302 CMR 14.05 shall apply to disciplinary actions taken both with and without the agreement of the Licensed Forester, and it shall not be waived by the Director of State Parks and Recreation.

Standards of Professional Conduct (302 CMR 14.06)

Licensed Foresters shall adhere to the ethical and professional standards in 302 CMR 14.06. Non-compliance with these standards may result in the Director of State Parks and Recreation taking disciplinary action against the Licensed Forester.

Licensed Foresters shall advocate and practice land management consistent with ecologically sound principles. Licensed Foresters shall advise their clients or employers of the long and short term consequences of management alternatives.

Licensed Foresters shall utilize their knowledge or skills for the benefit of society. Licensed Foresters shall strive for accurate, current and increasing knowledge of forestry, shall communicate such knowledge, and shall challenge and correct untrue statements about forestry.

Licensed Foresters shall make only accurate statements of the services that they are qualified and prepared to perform or provide, and shall perform only those services for which the Licensed Foresters are qualified by education or experience.

Licensed Foresters shall engage, or advise their employers to engage, other experts and specialists in forestry whenever the employer's interest would be served by such action, and the Licensed Forester shall work cooperatively with other professionals.

Licensed Foresters supplying forestry services shall disclose a list of all fees, salaries or other compensation to be charged for their services to prospective clients.

Licensed Foresters shall disclose all known or potential conflicts of interest involving substantial value to their employers, clients or bidders, by promptly informing them of any business association, interest or other circumstances which would or could influence or give the impression of influencing their judgment or the quality of their services. For purposes of 302 CMR 14.06, "substantial value" shall constitute business relationships which comprise, directly or indirectly, $50.00 or more within a calendar year.

Licensed Foresters shall not accept or solicit compensation, financial or otherwise; from more than one party on the same project unless circumstances are fully disclosed in writing to all parties, including contractors and their agents.

Licensed Foresters shall not voluntarily disclose information concerning the affairs of employers or applicants without express permission, and shall keep proprietary, financial or personal information provided to the Licensed Forester by a client or employer confidential unless disclosure is authorized by the client or employer or is required by applicable law.

At the time of public or private offerings, Licensed Foresters are required to disclose the methods of measurements and data developed in these measurements.

Licensed Foresters shall notify the FLB if their registration, certification or license is suspended or revoked in another jurisdiction.

When boundary work determines ownership of forest products or land on which forest service will be performed, Licensed Foresters shall be prepared to demonstrate that they have performed due diligence on boundary research prior to providing forestry services. At no time shall Licensed Foresters represent that their boundary determination services are relied on for any purpose other than the practice of forestry.

Severability (302 CMR 14.07)

If any section, subsection, division or subdivision of 302 CMR 14.00 shall be determined to be invalid, such determination shall apply to the particular section, subsection, division or subdivision, and all other provisions of 302 CMR 14.00 shall remain valid and in effect.

REGULATORY AUTHORITY 302 CMR 14.00: M.G.L. c. 132, §§47 through 50.

Current members of the FLB

Paul Catanzaro: (faculty member of a college or university in a forest resources or natural resources management program).  Professor and Extension Forester, UMass-Amherst.  MLF #32

Michael Barry: Chair (licensed forester employed in the private sector). Private consulting forester. MLF #11

Kris Massini: Secretary (employee of a federal, state, or a municipal government agency). Management Forester, Department of Conservation and Recreation. MLF #159

Bruce Spencer: (landowner of classified forest land) MLF #228

Emily Boss: (Environmental Organization, a Land Trust, or a Consumer Group) MLF #410

Feedback

Did you find what you were looking for on this webpage? * required
We use your feedback to help us improve this site but we are not able to respond directly. Please do not include personal or contact information. If you need a response, please locate the contact information elsewhere on this page or in the footer.
We use your feedback to help us improve this site but we are not able to respond directly. Please do not include personal or contact information. If you need a response, please locate the contact information elsewhere on this page or in the footer.

If you need to report child abuse, any other kind of abuse, or need urgent assistance, please click here.

Feedback