A Conversation with ACF President Mike Wetzel 

February 24, 2020 

Below is an article featured in The Forestry Source, February 2020. To learn more about The Forestry Source, click here. To learn more about SAF membership, click here.

A Conversation with ACF President Mike Wetzel
By Steve Wilent 

What is a consulting forester? According to the Association of Consulting Foresters’ (ACF) website, he or she is “an independent professional who manages forests and markets forest products for private woodland owners.” Why choose ACF? Why work with an ACF member? “If you see ACF after a forester’s name, you know you’re working with a true professional.”

Mike Wetzel is 2018–2020 president of ACF. He’s also an SAF member, an SAF Certified Forester (CF), and an SAF Fellow. Wetzel is principal, Ecce Silva LLC, in Aiken, South Carolina.

He has broad experience with both organizations: Three years as the South Carolina ACF Chapter secretary 2005–2008, and chair 2010–2012. He was a member of ACF’s Policy Statements Task Force in 2010 and chaired its Constitution and Bylaws Task Force 2011–2013; he received the 2011 ACF President’s Award for his work on these task forces. Wetzel has been an SAF member since 1979, having joined while he was enrolled in the forestry program at Colorado State University. He served as the South Carolina SAF Membership Committee chair 2005–2007. 

ACF has 742 members, including about 40 student members. According to its constitution, a full member is a professional consulting forester whose principal business activity is providing forestry consulting services on a fee or contract basis. Wetzel describes candidate membership as something like a probationary period.

“It’s an opportunity for other ACF members to observe a candidate’s professional behavior at meetings and witness his or her actual forestry practices, and perhaps to draw attention to any shortcomings that may have slipped by the people involved in approving your application. I don’t know of any instances where a candidate member has been rejected for full membership, but that’s the overall purpose of it.”

I recently spoke with Wetzel about our respective organizations.

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