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Getting Help From Professionals



Given the long-term nature of the crop, most forest landowners carry out a timber sale only once or twice in a lifetime. With such limited activity, even the serious landowner may find it difficult to remain informed on every aspect of selling timber wisely and profitably. Mistakes at this point may be costly and long lasting. Landowners should seek professional help when they are considering a timber sale.


A professional forester can help plan the proper silvicultural treatments needed for a woodlot, as well as mark and tally the trees for sale. The forester can also help advertise the sale to qualified loggers. Using a forester will ensure that a proper contract is prepared so that the property is protected and the landowner receives proper compensation for their product. Professional forestry assistance is available from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry via your local service forester, from private consulting foresters, and industry foresters. Upon request, service foresters will examine a landowner's woodlot and make suggestions. However, owners will be asked to retain consulting foresters for commercial timber sales.

Timber Harvesters

Often the only forest management advice a forest landowner receives is from a logger. Professional Timber Harvester Training has been part of the Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee's innovative approach to promoting responsible forestry on all lands since 1995. Those developing the program knew well-trained logging professionals would have a major impact on the future of all Pennsylvania forests. As a result of this decision, over 7,000 individuals have completed PA SFI training programs including thousands of independent contractors who are the key to the quality of forest harvesting. Our training participants work across Pennsylvania and implement the new things they learn through our training program on a daily basis.



Forest landowners are encouraged to seek out SFI Qualified Logging Professionals trained through the Pennsylvania SFI Professional Timber Harvester Training Program for their forestry operations. These individuals have completed training in OSHA safety requirements and have received comprehensive training in forest stewardship and best management practices (BMPs) to protect water quality. In addition, they also complete four hours of continuing education each year to maintain their current status as a SFI Qualified Logging Professional. The training and experience these individuals possess can help facilitate wise and sustainable timber harvest operations.

Certified SFI Program Participants and other forest products companies and land managers recognize the value and require their loggers to be SFI trained. Do you?

The importance of good contracts

In order to manage for forest health and sustainability, woodland owners often need to enter into agreements with foresters, loggers, timber buyers and other forestry professionals. Contracts, in particular written contracts that outline these relationships, can help you avoid problems on your land–everything from a minor hassle to a costly mistake. A good contract should clearly identify all the expectations of everyone involved prior to the operation.

Important Safety Information for Do-It-Yourself Landowners

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