Continuing Forestry Education in Massachusetts is grouped into six categories, similar to the way the Society of American Foresters assesses continuing education.
These six categories, and the minimum requirements for maintenance of a Massachusetts Forester License (20 credits annually, based on the guidelines for distribution below) are:
- Category I: EIGHT HOURS MINIMUM: Organized course work or activities in forestry or forestry related subject matters such as silviculture, mensuration, forest pest management, habitat management, urban forestry, or forest policy. Category I courses include seminars, short courses, and workshops conducted or sponsored by public or private organizations, as well as technical sessions of SAF meetings or conferences. Credit will be approved only for subject matter directly related to forestry or forest resources. Credit accrues at the rate of one hour for each hour of actual participation.
- Category II: TWELVE HOURS MAXIMUM: Other organized course work or activities not specifically in forestry or forest-related areas, but which are professionally enriching or directly beneficial to the individual in his or her present position. Examples include general sessions of SAF or other professional meetings and course work in areas such as real estate, computer science, managerial and leadership skills, public speaking, or vertebrate zoology. Credit accrues at the same rate as for Category I.
- Category III: TWELVE HOURS MAXIMUM: Preparation, and presentation of course work or activities such as described in categories I and II that requires effort beyond the general scope of the individual's normal duties or job description. Credit accrues at the rate of 2 credits for each 1 hour of presentation.
- Category IV: TEN HOURS MAXIMUM: Preparation, writing and publication of forestry or forestry-related subject matter that requires effort beyond the general scope of the individual's normal duties or job description. Credit is 15 hours for each article that is technically reviewed and 5 hours for popular articles or series.
- Category V: FOUR HOURS MAXIMUM: Self-improvement in forestry and forestry-related subjects. Included is participation in or attendance at meetings not qualifying for category I or II, such as those conducted by state boards of forestry or forestry licensing committees. Also included is self-improvement through reading appropriate technical publications or viewing audiovisual presentations on technical forestry subjects. Credit accrues at the rate of 1 hour for each hour of an activity.
- Category VI: TEN HOURS MAXIMUM: holding elected or appointed office or active committee assignments in the SAF, Massachusetts Association of Professional Foresters, or allied professional organizations such as the Wildlife Society, Society for Range Management, or Association of Consulting Foresters. Credit is 5 hours per year for elected office or chair of committee and 2 hours per year for active committee membership.
A list of recent SAF-approved New England Continuing Forestry Education (CFE) opportunities is here. This shows the extent and diversity of opportunities that are customarily available. IMPORTANTLY, foresters need not be limited to ONLY SAF CFE workshops to obtain credits. Credits can be assigned by the Massachusetts Forester Licensing Board. This can be done either BEFORE the event, or afterwards, given appropriate documentation and proof of participation. Note in particular that under Category II (above), credits may be assigned for a number of continuing education opportunities on subjects such as: real estate, computer science, managerial and leadership skills, public speaking, or vertebrate zoology.
SAF currently will award CFE credit for reading the latest issue of the Journal of Forestry and taking a brief on-line exam to show mastery of the content. Look here for more details.
Massachusetts Forester Licensing Board policy on Continuing Forestry Education credit is here.