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Call Before You Cut

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Published on: May. 2, 2009

Last revision: Dec. 13, 2010

Could you even dream of performing surgery on yourself? Would you undertake legal action without an attorney? How about designing and building a new house without consulting architects or builders? Most folks likely would prefer having professional help, because they know they lack the training and experience to get those jobs done right.

It’s a pretty good bet that most landowners would also benefit from expert advice when it comes to managing their woodlands, especially when they are planning a timber harvest.

Caring for your forest is a long-term proposition where one unfortunate decision can have impacts that last for decades.

The Department of Conservation, along with many partners, is launching an information campaign named Call Before You Cut. The program encourages woodland owners to consult with professional foresters or a Professional Timber Harvester or Master Logger before they make decisions about their forestland. A toll-free telephone number ((877) 564-7483) has been established through which landowners may request information about caring for their woods and contacting a professional forester or trained logger.

We’re also a partner with other states in a Web site (listed below) to tell people about forest management, and to provide people with contact information for foresters.

Many states have laws, generally called “forest practices acts,” that control various aspects of logging activity on privately owned lands. In Missouri, we rely on people voluntarily practicing good forest management. Outreach efforts, like Call Before You Cut, provides information that enhances people’s knowledge of how to take care of their woods.

We think the effort is worthwhile. Missouri forests (83 percent of which are privately owned) provide important benefits to both the people who own them and society in general. Forested lands play a large role in providing clean air, recreational opportunities, wildlife habitat, forest products and clean water for all Missourians.

From decades of research, we’ve learned that active management enhances the values provided by privately held woodlands. We do everything we can to help people keep our forests healthy.

Getting What You Want

Have you ever thought about what you would most like from your land? This is often the first question a forester asks a landowner when they begin discussing options for woodlands. Are you a hunter? Do you like to photograph birds and other wildlife? Do you just want a peaceful retreat? Do you want to cut some firewood? Would you like your woods to provide periodic income? Are you concerned about maintaining your forest’s

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