What is a forester?
"A forester is a person who by reason of his knowledge of the natural sciences, mathematics, economics and the principles of forestry and by his demonstrated skills acquired through professional forestry education … is qualified to engage in the practice of forestry …" (Mississippi Foresters Registration Law of 1977)
The Foresters Registration Law of 1977 (amended in 1989) defines the practice of forestry to include consultation, investigation, evaluation, valuation, planning, and silviculture and harvest recommendations. Any person offering forestry services to the public must be licensed.
By law, no person may refer to himself as a forester; nor may any person sell, advertise or otherwise promote his services as a professional forester in Mississippi, without being duly registered (licensed) by the State Board of Registration for Foresters.
Why is the Registration Law Needed?
The purpose of the Registration Law is to ensure that the landowners of Mississippi receive the services of only competent, ethical, and professionally trained practitioners in the management of their timber and lands. Supporters of this law believe that professional forest management is essential in making our renewable timber resources the state's most important and sustainable crop.
Requirements for a Forester to be Registered?
Specific criteria for forester registration are provided by law and rules & regulations by the State Board of Registration for Foresters. Foresters must have a B.S. or higher degree from an accredited forestry school (SAF), pass a Board administered examination and certify that they have no conflicts with the legal or ethical requirements of the Forester Registration Law.
An application for registration is found on the Board website. An examination is required of all applicants unless it is by reciprocity. Once the application has been approved examinations are given at MS State University (Starkville, MS Campus only) in January and April of each year or at the Jackson office once a date and time are scheduled by applicant and proctor.
Registrations are done on the 1st and 15th of each month once all criteria has been met. To remain registered, a practicing forester must, on a continuing basis, fulfill education requirements to stay current with forest management policies, procedures, and innovations. A forester’s registration must be renewed every two (2) years (odd numbered years) to maintain a legal license to practice forestry in Mississippi. Foresters are responsible in keeping their own documentation as proof of their continuing education for each renewal period as well as keeping the Board office informed of any contact changes (email, mailing, phone).
How Are Complaints Handled?
Anyone who feels a registered forester has not offered professional service or has violated a canon of the Code of Ethics may enter a complaint with the Board of Registration. All complaints are thoroughly investigated.
The Board also investigates complaints against nonregistered individuals who offer forest-related services to ascertain if the individual is in violation of the Law.
Is there a provision for registration with other states?
The Board will accept reciprocity with any state where the provisions of registration are essentially the same as required by the State of Mississippi. A license issued under the reciprocity provisions require the same renewal as a resident of Mississippi; i.e. renewal dates, renewal fees, CFE requirement, etc. Once a license is obtained under the reciprocity provision, the residence of the Registered Forester may change while not affecting the status of his/her license.