Conservation scientists and foresters manage the use and development of forests, rangelands, and other natural resources. These lands supply wood products, livestock forage, minerals, and water. They serve as sites for recreational activities and provide habitats for wildlife. Some workers advise private landowners on the use and management of their land and may design and implement programs that make the land healthier and more productive.

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More About Forest Management

Conservation scientists and foresters manage the use and development of forests, rangelands, and other natural resources. These lands supply wood products, livestock forage, minerals, and water. 

They serve as sites for recreational activities and provide habitats for wildlife. Some workers advise private landowners on the use and management of their land and may design and implement programs that make the land healthier and more productive.

Foresters oversee our Nation's forests and direct activities on them for economic, recreational, conservational, and environmental purposes. Individual landowners, the public, and industry own most of the forested land in this country, and they require the expertise of foresters to keep the forests healthy and sustainable. Often, this means coming up with a plan to keep the forests free from disease, harmful insects, and damaging wildfires by planning, for example, when and where to plant trees and vegetation and when to cut timber. 

Procurement Foresters make up a large share of foresters. Their job is to buy timber, typically for a sawmill or wood products manufacturer, by contacting local forest owners and negotiating a sale. This activity typically involves taking inventory of the type, amount, and location of all standing timber on the property, a process known as timber cruising. They then appraise the timber's worth, negotiate its purchase, and draw up a contract for purchase. Next, the forester subcontracts with loggers or pulpwood cutters for tree removal and to aid in laying out roads to access the timber.

Conservation Scientists manage, improve, and protect the country's natural resources. They work with landowners and Federal, State, and local governments to devise ways to use and improve the land while safeguarding the environment. Conservation scientists advise farmers, farm managers, and ranchers on how they can improve their land for agricultural purposes and to control erosion. A growing number of conservation scientists also are advising landowners and governments on recreational uses for the land. 

Two of the more common conservation scientists are range managers and soil conservationists. Range managers, also called range conservationists, range ecologists, or range scientists, study, manage, improve, and protect rangelands to maximize their use without damaging the environment. Rangelands cover hundreds of millions of acres of the United States, mostly in western States and Alaska.