Working with Qualified Private Sector Foresters

Often forest landowners would benefit from a level of professional forestry assistance that is not funded by government programs.  Examples of this are: setting up a timber sale, the writing of a Forest Stewardship plan, or conducting timber inventories.  To assist landowners who desire that level of forestry assistance, below are the four programs by which a forester may become designated as a Qualified Forester:

Certified Forester (C.F.) –

A certification available to individuals who:

  • Have a bachelor's degree or higher in forestry or a related degree with forestry coursework from a college or university accredited by the Society of American Foresters  

  • Have five-years or more of qualifying professional experience within the past 10 years (including only experience gained following conferral of the first forestry/ forestry related degree)

  • Adhere to state and federal forestry laws

  • Complete 60 hours of forestry professional development every three years



Michigan Registered Forester 

Registration is available to individuals who:

  • Have a bachelor's degree or higher in forestry from a college or university accredited by the Society of American Foresters 

  • Not less than two years of experience in professional forestry work by way of three Experience Verification Forms from professional foresters who can attest to the applicant's experience 



Technical Service Provider for Forestry –

Someone who is registered with the USDA-NRCS to provide technical assistance related to USDA Farm Bill forest practice implementation specifically. TSP registration is available to individuals who are:

  • Certified foresters through either SAF or ACF or

  • Have 5 years forestry experience and are a registered forester or

  • Have a bachelor’s degree in forestry and 1 year of forestry experience and are a registered forester 




Michigan Certified Forest Stewardship Plan Writer 

The Forest Stewardship Program (FSP) is administered by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and funded by the USDA Forest Service, State and Private Forestry Program.  In order to qualify for cost share funds under a FSP grant, a landowner must work a person who is listed as a Certified Forest Stewardship Plan Writer.  The minimum qualifications to apply for and maintain certification as a plan writer are:

  • Have a four-year degree in Forestry or related Natural Resource field OR have a two-year degree in Forestry or related Natural Resource field with approved experience

  • Maintain six hours of approved continuing education in natural resource management yearly and submit documentation to the Forest Stewardship Coordinator

  • Present yourself in a professional manner in both appearance and conduct, and provide service to your clients in a timely manner




6180 West Sanborn Road

Lake City, MI 49651

t: 231.839.7193

f: 231.839.5411

Wednesday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm   ​​Saturday: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Memorial Day thru Labor Day

Tuesday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Monday through Friday

8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Closed Federal Holidays

All programs are offered on a non-discriminatory basis.