Timbergreetings! May 24, 2002 page 4
He says that many of the landowners he deals with are only interested in getting the most money out of the woodlands. This makes for a tricky problem for a conscientious logger. Most loggers know what good forestry consists of and, given the choice, would do what is right. Davis says that he always consults with the landowner and, if the job is complicated, suggests the landowner contact a forester before proceeding. But, when all is said and done, Davis will do what the landowner wants regardless of his own feelings. He says that, if he refuses a job, there are plenty of guys waiting to take it over."
The cooperative system plans the harvest in advance to avoid all the usual misunderstandings and problems. Forest owners are informed, involved, and control the entire process to meet their long-term management needs. (Tim Davis is correct - the forest owner is completely responsible for a harvest on their land - don't blame anyone else if you get a bad job!) Cooperative members would realize that long-term benefits are much more important than getting the most money out today.
When forest owners are informed and plan in advance to practice sustainable forestry, all these problems never come into play. Good loggers find rewarding and steady work and the timber is improved for future growth!
The question of forestry ethics is a major issue today. Do you do what you know is good forestry - or compromise and take the quick profit - before somebody else does? The current forest management system actually encourages loggers and foresters and forest owners to over-harvest and high-grade the timber resource. Good people are trapped in a system that makes them do bad things in order to survive. Why does this market persist???
It is all about greed. It is all about big corporate profits. Government is swayed by industry, where the big money is. The forest resource, the individual small woodlot owner, and independent loggers are just pawns - used and then discarded.
The whole system needs a new standard for ethics. Here is a good one!
The Forest Stewards Guild is a national organization whose "first duty principle" says, "A forester's first duty is to the forest and its future. When the management directives of clients or supervisors conflict… and cannot be modified through dialogue and education, a forester should disassociate."
There can be no compromise in sustainable forestry.
Our duty is to the forest!
Another issue for loggers is "Almost all bidding in this area is by lump sum. This presents a problem for the successful bidder. If you read the sample logging contracts landowners consult, and if you listen to the advice given by forestry "experts", you will see all sorts of warning to landowners about crooked loggers. Almost all these sources advise the landowner to demand full payment before the job states. This may be good advice to the landowner, but where is a small logging contractor going to come up with that much cash? Even if he does manage to borrow that kind of money, suppose it is a short term loan and, a spell of rain or mill cut backs prevents him from completing the harvest for some time?
Davis has an additional cash flow problem in that he pays his crew weekly….." Next