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Cooperating Forester Program

Cooperating Foresters are consulting foresters or industrial foresters who voluntarily enter into a cooperative agreement with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Consulting foresters are private-sector foresters who provide forestry services on a contract or fee basis and who represent the interests of private forest landowners. Industrial foresters are employed by wood-using industries that may provide advice and assistance to private landowners to promote forestry practices approved by the companies for whom they work.

As part of the agreement, Cooperating Foresters agree to adhere to the principles of sound forestry and implement sustainable forestry practices in all forest management guidance and assistance they provide to private forest landowners. These principles and practices can be found in the following references:

Participating Cooperating Foresters are listed on the Forestry Assistance Locator, a searchable online Directory, and receive referrals from Wisconsin DNR foresters. Click the map link which shows the locations of Cooperating Forester businesses [PDF].


To become a Cooperating Forester, specific academic requirements must be met. Cooperating Foresters are required to have a bachelor’s or higher degree in forestry from a school with a curriculum accredited by the Society of American Foresters or an equivalent degree, as determined by the Chief State Forester, under the definition in s. NR 1.21(2)(e), Wis. Adm. Code. Read more about the minimum academic requirements [PDF] for Cooperating Foresters.


For first time applicants, complete and sign the Cooperating Forester Application [PDF] and Cooperating Forester Agreement [PDF]. Application materials can be submitted anytime during the year. Send the completed application and agreement to:

Private Forestry Specialist
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
PO Box 7921
Madison WI 53707

Maintaining Cooperating Forester Status

To maintain Cooperating Forester status, each Cooperating Forester must complete a minimum of 10 hours of professional continuing education and/or training annually during the period July 1 through June 30. In addition, Cooperating Foresters are required to file annual reports with the Department.

Complaints Involving Cooperating Foresters

Complaints concerning Cooperating Foresters must be documented in writing using the Cooperating Forester Statement of Complaint Form [PDF]. Download the form and send written complaints to:

Private Forestry Specialist
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
PO Box 7921
Madison WI 53707

Services Offered by Cooperating Foresters

Please note: this is not an exhaustive list of services.

  • Complete timber sale services such as timber sale establishment (e.g. marking), determining volume and value of timber, preparing timber sale contracts and sale administration.
  • Custom tree planting and forest improvement services.
  • 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.
  • Commercial recreation planning and development.

Cooperating and Wisconsin DNR Foresters

Certified Plan Writer

Cooperating Foresters who wish to write management plans for Managed Forest Law properties must complete the required training and certification process to be become a Certified Plan Writer (CPW).