Cooperating Forester Program
The DNR began the cooperating forester program in 1989. Cooperating Foresters provide assistance to private landowners on a contract or fee basis, which the landowner pays. Cooperating Foresters can be either consulting foresters or industrial foresters who sign a Cooperating Forester Agreement to comply with DNR standards for responsible forestry. Consulting foresters are private foresters who represent private landowners. Industrial Foresters are employed by wood-using industries that provide advice and assistance to private landowners to promote forestry practices approved by the companies for whom they work.
Private consulting foresters and industrial foresters voluntarily apply to participate, are listed in a DNR published directory in the Forestry Assistance Locator and receive referrals from DNR foresters. In return, cooperating foresters must comply with DNR standards and rules when giving forest management advice. Cooperating foresters must also attend continuing education courses and file periodic reports with the department.
A map showing the locations of cooperating forester firms is also available.
In addition to many of the same services offered by DNR foresters, cooperating foresters may provide:
- complete timber sale services (timber marking, volume calculations, bid specifications, sale negotiation, sale supervision, contract preparation, sale administration, etc.);
- custom tree planting and forest improvement services (including labor);
- forest pest control applications;
- timber income tax consulting;
- forest appraisals for tax or investment purposes;
- expert witness testimony in trespass and damage claims;
- acquisition and sale of private forest land;
- Christmas tree management;
- road layout and design;
- forest resource and economic studies; and
- commercial recreation planning and development.
The Wisconsin DNR began the Cooperating Forester Program in 1989. Private consulting and industrial foresters voluntarily apply to participate and abide by DNR management guidelines. In return, DNR foresters exclusively refer private landowners seeking additional assistance to a cooperating forester.
Forms and reports
For first time applicants:
Due each year by July 1:
- Stumpage Value Report/Species and Product Codes (also available as a Word document)
- Cooperating Forester Accomplishment Report (also available as an Excel spreadsheet)
- Continuing education tracking sheet (also available as an Excel spreadsheet)
Resources and reference material
- DNR Guidelines and Handbooks
- Forestry Best Management Practices for Water Quality
- Forestry Best Management Practices for Invasive Species
- DNR GIS Resources
- Woody Biomass Harvesting Guidelines
- Herbicides for Forest Management
- Invasive Species: Plants
- Forest Industry Safety & Training Alliance Inc. (FISTA)
- NACD Guides
Cooperating and Wisconsin DNR foresters
- Private Forestry Assistance Locator
Searchable online directory.