Programs to Credential Foresters and Other Forestry Professionals


To promote professional competency in the practice of scientifically sound and responsible forest management. 


This position statement defines what elements the public should evaluate when determining the professional competency of individuals entrusted with forest management responsibilities. 


The Society of American Foresters (SAF) promotes competency in the practice of professional forestry through six key elements associated with credentialing programs: (1) professional forestry education; (2) examination; (3) professional experience; (4) continuing forestry education; (5) adherence to a standard of professional practice; and 6) compliance mechanisms that protect the integrity of the program. Forester and forestry professional credentials help support the welfare of society, public health, and safety as well as the ecological functions of the nation’s forests. This is achieved by defining a level of professional competency needed for individuals to practice forestry. 

SAF supports governments and organizations that administer and enforce professional forester credentialing programs that meet or exceed our six key elements of professional standards. SAF recognizes there are a wide range of forest types, environmental conditions, and landowner objectives under which foresters and forestry professionals operate as well as variation in state laws and regulations that affect forest practices. SAF also recognizes the importance of forestry credentialing programs and advocates for the competency of all professionals as a means to achieving scientifically sound, responsible, and sustainable forest management in rural and urban settings. 

Approved: December 2023

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