Legal and Ethical Components of Forester Licensing: An Insider's View

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Licensure could protect the public from unqualified practitioners and enhance the professional status of foresters. To attain a high degree of public confidence and trust, other professions link licensure to an enforceable code of ethics that establishes the standards the public should expect. If foresters likewise require licensed practitioners to conform to a code of ethics, questions arise, including who–the client only, or the public–would have standing to charge a forester with violating the code, and who would hear the complaint. Unless foresters engage these issues, a licensing system tied to ethical standards could become a tool for those who oppose forest management in any form.

Keywords: certification; environmental management; ethics; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; policy

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Assistant Professor Department of Forestry, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, 24061,

Publication date: December 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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