By Billy Rye
Alabama Chapter Chair, ACF President | Forest Management Specialist, Inc.
Owning land is an American dream. From the institutional investor who wants to maximize the return on investment of his holdings, to the landowner who wishes to
hunt turkey on his own piece of heaven, the reasons for ownership are as varied as the species of trees which occur in Alabama.
These diverse objectives and the complexities of owning land
often force the landowner to partner with a professional to reach
his or her land management goals. This is where the Association
of Consulting Foresters (ACF) can help. ACF consulting foresters are independent professionals who manage forests and market
forest products for private woodland owners. Members use their
education, experience, and expertise to partner with the landowner to advance the forest landowner’s goals.
The ACF was formed in 1948 to provide landowners with a
means of locating consulting foresters of proven ability and character in every part of the country. The mission of the ACF is to
advance the practice of professional consulting forestry. This
mission is expressed in the core values, policies, and Code of
Ethics to which each member is required to adhere. For instance,
ACF members are not allowed to purchase standing timber. This
standard allows landowners to partner with a professional consultant who has their best interest in mind.
ACF foresters are also required to have a college degree in
forestry or a natural resource related field, as well as five years
of practical forestry experience. Additionally, they must meet
continuing educational requirements to stay current on issues that
affect their clients’ ownership and enjoyment of the land.
Partnering with an ACF member provides many benefits to
the landowner. One member of the ACF helped his client to
obtain a price for his timber that was three times more than the
landowner was able to secure on his own. Other ACF members
have helped landowners during reforestation to prescribe professional specifications for the practices and to reserve seedlings
that are difficult to procure. Partnering with an ACF member has
helped countless Alabama landowners avoid costly mistakes
while conducting timber sales and forest management practices.
The best way for a landowner to reach the goals for their property is to partner with an ACF member.
Below are a few testimonials for Alabama Chapter ACF
Members (reprinted with permission). Please note: ACF
is substituted for the name and/or company of the ACF member:
“I highly recommend ACF . I have always been a do-it-yourself
type. I learned my lesson the hard way and hired ACF to fix the
problems I created. I was deploying shortly and had to have
someone I could trust in my absence. ACF came through for me
when it counted most. Since that time, ACF has advised me on a
land purchase, managed a timber sale, and managed a re-planting and spraying. ACF is only a phone call away and always willing to help.” –– Corey Calhoun
“I have used ACF on several occasions in the past five years.
From timber cruising, timber sales, and planting trees I value
their expertise in making these decisions. Timber sales – ACF
cruised the timber and handled the bids for the sale. I feel I got
top dollar for each tract of timber sold. was on site during
the logging operations and made sure everything ran smoothly.
Planting pines – ACF lined up contractors for site prep, planting,
and chemical application. does audits each year on my young
pines. Bottom line, good folks that you can trust and you will
enjoy doing business with them.” –– Brown Nolen
“ACF helped guide our family with a very personal, hands-on
approach to our land. The result was a good return on the initial
cutting and a replanted tract that will pay dividends in the
future. ACF made it easy by delivering solid and timely advice that
allowed us to make wise choices.” –– Fred Monk
ACF foresters partner with private landowners, attorneys, real
estate agents, accountants, financial institutions, and many others. Working with an ACF Forester gives the landowner the assurance that his land is being sustainably managed in compliance with ever-changing local, state, and federal regulations.
Along with helping the landowner develop a plan to achieve his
vision, ACF foresters can provide keen insight to explore the
land’s potential in economically viable ways.
Some of the services that ACF provides to landowners include:
• Developing and writing a forest management plan
• Coordinating reforestation
• Planning and overseeing a timber harvest
• Appraising timber value and estimating volume
• Assessing forest health (disease and insect) conditions
• Recommending stand improvement practices
• Prescribed burning
• Controlling undesirable vegetation or invasive plants
• Marking boundary lines
• Establishing and maintaining wildlife habitat and food plots.
To learn more about the ACF or to contact a
member in your area, please visit the following:
• National ACF Website: https://www.acf-foresters.org
An article written in:
Alabama’s TREASURED Forests www.forestry.alabama.gov Volume XLI No. 1 – 2022