GIS / Mapping

Williamson Consulting Logo
Forestry Services
Contact: Phil Anderson, 509-684-8550

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Williamson Consulting provides complete forest management services to non-industrial private forest (NIPF) landowners, commercial timber companies and public agencies. Our forestry staff includes 6 professional foresters and 3 forest technicians with over 100 years of collective experience. We are capable of everything from basic timber inventories to detailed management plans tailored to the specific goals and objectives of the client. Call one of our professional foresters for a no-obligation phone consultation and cost estimate for your project.

The following is a list of the most common forestry services we provide.

  1. Timber Cruise, Inventory and Report
  2. Forest Management Plans
  3. Forest Stewardship Plans
  4. Timber Sale Layout
  5. Permitting
  6. Log Marketing
  7. Timber Sale Administration
  8. Timber Valuation

Timber Cruise, Inventory and Report

A timber cruise and inventory provides the basic information necessary to make informed decisions regarding purchase of timber land and long term management of the resource. The field work involves laying out sample plots using systematic grid or, in some cases, a complete inventory of every tree on the subject property. In nearly all cases, the merchantable timber volume (sawlogs, small saw and pulp wood) is to be determined from the timber cruise. For more intricate projects such as management plans or stewardship plans, it may be necessary to collect additional stocking level data for regeneration, wildlife reserve trees, and down logs. In most cases, growth and age sample data is also collected.

The timber cruise itself involves more than just collecting tree data. During the cruising process, notes are taken regarding disease or insect problems that contribute to the overall health of the stand, Some additional items noted during the cruise would include the presence or lack of roads, road condition, appropriate logging methods, water considerations (streams or wetlands), and any other factors that may effect the management of the timber resource.

Data collected in the field during the cruise is analyzed at the office. Volume calculations are made specific to the landowner's needs and potential log markets. Stocking levels, growth and age calculations are also made at this time. All of this data plus notes taken during the cruise are used in the development of the cruise report, management plan or stewardship plan.

A cruise report summarizes the volume information gathered from the timber cruise without going into great detail. The report is generally used by NIPF (non-industrial private forest) landowners, companies or public agencies who are interested in the data for land purchases, trades, estate planning or appraisals. The report may also be used by those people who are interested in writing their own management or stewardship plans. Other considerations noted during the cruise such as roads, logging methods, disease or insect problems and water considerations may be mentioned in the report but will not be discussed in detail.

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Forest Management Plans

A management plan summarizes the volume information gathered from the timber cruise as does the cruise report, but goes into greater detail on the other considerations. The report is generally used by NIPF landowners or companies who are interested in the long term management of the timber resource on their property. The goals of the client are clearly defined in the report. In many cases, the primary objective is to realize periodic income from the property through the use of silvicultural prescriptions designed to maintain or improve overall forest health. However, many clients will consider other amenities from the forest such as wildlife habitat, aesthetics or recreational potential to be an integral part of the management plan.

The management plan goes into detail on other considerations that will effect the short and long term management objectives. These other considerations include soils, roads, road condition, logging methods, disease or insect problems, growth and age data, presence of wildlife trees and down logs. As necessary or requested by the client, wildlife habitat, aesthetics and recreational potential may be discussed. All of these factors play an important role in potential timber management options.

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Forest Stewardship Plans

A stewardship plan takes into account all amenities on the subject property and the long term management of those amenities. The report is generally used by NIPF landowners who are interested in the long term management of several resources on the subject, other than just timber. In some cases, cost share money may be available through the Stewardship Incentive Program (SIP) to complete the plans and implement proposed projects. However, funding for this type of program is generally limited.

Amenities considered in the stewardship plan include, but may not be limited to, timber management, forest health, soils, riparian areas, wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities. Depending on the client's objectives and the observed assessment of the subject property, enhancement or maintenance projects may be proposed for one or more of the resource considerations from above. Generally, these types of reports would be looking at a planning time frame up to 20 years or more.

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Timber Sale Layout

Timber sale layout involves implementing the management objectives of a proposed timber sale on the ground. This is implemented within current legal restraints under existing forest practice rules. In most cases, those objectives have been clearly stated in the cruise report, management plan or stewardship plan. Under existing forest practice rules, the timber sale layout process needs to be completed prior to submittal of the forest practice application.

The first step in the layout process is to determine the boundary of proposed harvest units. In some cases, this may require the assistance of a professional land surveyor to determine property line locations. Once the boundaries have been adequately determined, the process of designating trees for removal through a leave tree or cut tree mark begins. Additional work that may be required includes designation of Riparian Management Zones (RMZ's), Wetland Management Zones (WMZ's), wildlife reserve trees, down logs, road locations, culvert locations, bridge locations, water bar locations, etc. Once the sale layout process has been completed, the activities from above can be described on the appropriate permits required by government agencies.

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Williamson Consulting can help you navigate through the complicated process of completing the application forms necessary to proceed with your proposed timber sale. Depending upon the complexity of your project, it may be necessary to submit several permit applications to various state agencies. Permits that may be required in Washington State include a forest practice application, moratorium on non-conversion of timber land, environmental checklist, road maintenance plan, and hydraulics permit. In Idaho, a notice of forest practices with the accompanying slash deposit form is required.

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Log Marketing

The job of marketing your logs is more complicated than ever. The days of sending all of your logs to one mill are over for the most part. More and mor mills tend to specialize in specific species or size classes or both. To maximize your return, you need to specialize in species or size classes or both. To maximize your return, you need to sort your logs accordingly to be able to take advantage of the best market for the logs that you are selling. Of course, other costs such as additional production cost for sorting and potential haul cost increases must be considered. The professional foresters at Williamson Consulting understand log markets and can assist you in getting the most return on your investment.

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Timber Sale Administration

Administration of your proposed timber sale is an integral part of insuring the success of your project. The first step in this process involves securing log purchase agreements from the mill that will be getting the logs. At the same time, a logging contact needs to be developed between you and your logging contractor. This contract spells out the specifics of what is expected of the contractor, including the requirement of the contractor to provide and maintain adequate liability insurance. The logging contract also specifies the pay rate that the contractor can expect to be paid for his services.

Once the actual logging job has started, the sale administrator is responsible for making sure that all contractual obligations as specified in the logging contract and log purchase agreements are being adhered to. To accomplish this, it is incumbent upon the administrator to visit the site on a regular basis to inspect the job for compliance. At the completion of the job, it is the responsibility of the administrator to complete a final inspection of the job and have the contractor complete all work necessary to fulfill his contractual obligations. The success or failure of your logging job requires adequate supervision to insure your best interests are protected.

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Timber Valuation

There are many different ways to value the timber on your property. Is the timber being valued for appraisal purposes? For potential land purchase? For estate planning purposes? For current harvest value? For value of set aside areas such as Riparian Management Zones (RMZ) or Wetland Management Zones (WMZ)? For future value? As a basis for capital gains tax liabilities? All of these values are very different and can be of critical importance to you in planning for the future. Williamson Consulting can assist you in determining which valuation(s) are important to you and can then calculate those values based upon their knowledge of current and/or historical log markets.

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Forestry Division Contact: Phil Anderson, 509-684-8550

All information contained on this and all associated pages is for informative purposes only, and should NOT be construed as legal advice. Please contact the Washington State Department of Natural Resources for legal advice regarding current forest practices rules.

Forestry Links of Interest:

WA Dept. of Natural Resources | WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife | WA Dept. of Ecology | WA Forest Protection Association | Washington Farm Forestry Assoc. | A Walk in the Woods | Society of American Foresters | Association of Consulting Foresters | Boise Cascade | Vaagen Bros. Lumber | Weyerhauser | Northwest Fir

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