CHAPTER 20 – BOARD OF REGISTRATION FOR FORESTERS

 

SECTION .0100 - PURPOSE

 

21 NCAC 20 .0101             PURPOSE OF PROGRAM

The rules in this Chapter shall govern the registration program for foresters.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B-6;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Temporary Amendment Eff. March 1, 1999;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2000;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. December 16, 2014.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0102             CONTACTING THE BOARD

All communications with the Board shall be through the secretary of the Board at the following address:

Secretary of the State Board of Registration for Foresters

P. O. Box 27393

Raleigh, North Carolina  27611.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B‑6;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. February 1, 1985;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. December 16, 2014.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0103             QUALIFICATIONS FOR REGISTRATION

(a)  An application may be obtained from the Secretary of the Board.

(b)  An applicant shall submit an application to the Secretary which shall include:

(1)           Legible official college transcripts, if applicable;

(2)           Five references as required in Rule .0105 of this Section;

(3)           Proof of professional work experience in forestry; and

(4)           Payment of application fee as set out in Rule .0107 of this Section.

(c)  For purposes of G.S. 89B-9(a)(1) a forestry curriculum is a curriculum that satisfies the Education Requirements used by the Society of American Foresters (SAF) to become a Certified Forester.

(d)  An applicant who holds a forestry degree from a university outside of the United States may qualify for registration if he/she provides verification to the Board which demonstrates that the degree is equivalent to SAF accreditation standards.

(e)  The Board may issue a forester-in-training certificate to an applicant who has completed the education requirement in G.S. 89B-9(a)(1).  The certificate is valid for 4 years.  The time period shall be extended by the Board in case of hardship beyond the control of the applicant.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B-6; 89B-9;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. May 1, 1989; February 1, 1985;

Temporary Amendment Eff. March 1, 1999;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2010; August 1, 2000.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0104             EXAMINATIONS

(a)  The comprehensive written exam required by G.S. 89B-9(a)(1), called a Level 2 examination, focuses on the practice of forestry in North Carolina and shall be offered twice annually.  There is no limit to the number of times that an applicant may attempt the examination.

(b)  For applicants not meeting the education requirements in G.S. 89B-9(a)(1), a comprehensive written exam, called the Level 1 examination is required.  The exam tests the applicants' knowledge of forestry approximating that obtained through graduation from a four-year curriculum in forestry and focuses on the practice of forestry in North Carolina.  The exam shall be offered twice annually.  There is no limit to the number of times that an applicant may attempt the examination.

(c)  The Board shall notify applicants by certified mail, return receipt requested, not less than 30 days before the examination, as to the time and place of the examination.  If the applicant fails to respond at least ten days prior to the date of the exam, it is assumed that the applicant does not plan to take the examination.  The applicant's file shall then be considered inactive and no further action shall be initiated by the Board.  The application fee shall be forfeited.

(d)  The passing grade for registration is 70 percent on any exam.  The determination by the Board as to the score on each exam shall be final.

(e)  Re-examination fees are forty dollars ($40.00) per examination.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B-6; 89B-9; 89B-12;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. May 1, 1989; February 1, 1985;

Temporary Amendment Eff. March 1, 1999;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2010; August 1, 2000.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0105             REFERENCES

(a)  Five references are required to satisfy the Board of an applicant's professional experience and moral character.  Three or more shall be practicing, registered foresters in North Carolina. No more than one of the practicing forester references shall be an employee of the same firm or agency as the applicant. No member of the Board shall act as a reference for any applicant for registration.

(b)  If a majority of the references do not recommend approval, the Board shall reject the applicant.

(c)  If two of the references do not recommend approval, the Board shall request more detailed input from all references to use in evaluating the applicant.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B-6; 89B-9;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. May 1, 1989; February 1, 1985;

Temporary Amendment Eff. March 1, 1999;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2000;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. December 16, 2014.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0106             REGISTRATION FEES

Fees sent to the Board for any segment of the registration process shall be payable to the Secretary, Board of Registration for Foresters.  The application fee for registration is fifty dollars ($50.00), which shall be submitted by the applicant at the time of application.  An approved applicant shall submit an additional fee of forty dollars ($40.00) to receive a certificate of registration.  Annual renewal fee is forty dollars ($40.00).  The Board shall waive renewal fees for Registered Foresters for hardship circumstances, such as military deployment, extended illness, or other similar circumstances, upon written petition by the Registered Forester or Registered Forester's agent for this exemption.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B-6; 89B-10; 89B-11; 93B-15(b);

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. February 1, 1990; May 1, 1985;

Temporary Amendment Eff. March 1, 1999;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2010; January 1, 2005; August 1, 2000;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. December 16, 2014.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0107             INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS

Any application for registration which is not complete within 12 months of the date of application shall be declared null and void and the application fee retained.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B‑6;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. May 1, 1989;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. December 16, 2014.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0108             DELINQUENT FEES

The Board shall notify by mail or email all foresters registered by the Board for the previous year when they become 30 days in arrears in payment of renewal fees for the ensuing year.  The notifications shall remind the delinquents of the required penalty fees.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B-6;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2010;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. December 16, 2014.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0109             REGISTRATION CARD

21 NCAC 20 .0110             REGISTRATION SEAL

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B-6;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2010; May 1, 1989; February 1, 1985;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rules Expired January 1, 2015.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0109             REGISTRATION CARD

In addition to the certificate prescribed by G.S. 89B-10, upon request and receipt of required fees, the Board shall furnish each registered forester with a card impressed with the seal of the Board indicating that the individual is a registered forester for the period indicated.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B-6;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2010; May 1, 1989; February 1, 1985.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0110             REGISTRATION SEAL

Upon issuance of a certificate to an applicant as a registered forester, the applicant becomes eligible to purchase an impression type seal or rubber stamp of a design approved by the Board.  This seal will bear the registrant's name and number as shown on the registration certificate. This seal can be affixed on all plans, maps, and reports prepared by the registrant.  Where a registrant is required to reproduce original plans, maps, or reports in multiple copies, a suitable replica or rubber stamp may be employed to facilitate reproduction.  The Board considers it flagrant misconduct for a registered forester to use a seal to stamp work done by another individual unless it is the work of an employee or agent working under the supervision of the registrant.  The outside diameter of the seal shall be 1‑9/16 inches.  In ordering a seal, the registrant must provide the supplier with the proper registration number.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B‑6;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. May 1, 1989; February 1, 1985.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0111             REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE

(a)  Registrations issued to successful applicants will be given consecutive individual numbers. Once issued to a registrant, a number will not be assigned again.

(b)  A revoked, expired or invalid registration shall not be displayed in any public office or place of business by any registrant in connection with the practice of forestry.

(c)  Any violation of this Rule may be cause for the Board to require the custodian of said registration to surrender it to the Board.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B‑6; 89B‑13;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. February 1, 1985;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. December 16, 2014.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0112             REGISTRATION REPLACEMENTS

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B‑6; 89B‑11;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule Expired January 1, 2015.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0113             REJECTIONS

A person whose application for registration has been rejected shall be notified of the fact and of the basis for rejection.  The applicant will be provided every opportunity to submit additional evidence and references for further consideration by the Board.  Requests for reconsideration of the Board's action shall be made in writing to the Board.  Failure to comply with a written request of the Board to appear for an interview or to appear for examination shall be considered as proper grounds for rejection of registration.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B‑6; 89B‑9;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. May 1, 1989;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. December 16, 2014.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0114             RE‑REGISTRATION

Re-registration and renewals, including late renewals, shall be handled by the Board in accordance with G.S. 89B-11.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B‑6; 89B‑10; 89B-11;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. November 1, 1993; February 1, 1990; May 1, 1989; February 1, 1985;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. December 16, 2014.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0115             CODE OF ETHICS

In their signed affidavits, all applicants shall indicate their agreement to adhere to the following Code of Ethics.  The code shall be used by the Board to help govern its decisions in adjudicating flagrant misconduct in the practice of forestry under G.S. 89B-13.

Code of Ethics

(1)           A Registered Forester shall practice forestry consistent with ecologically sound principles and all applicable laws.

(2)           A Registered Forester shall not engage in unlawful acts or business practices.

(3)           A Registered Forester shall present truthful, accurate, and complete information while practicing forestry.

(4)           A Registered Forester shall practice forest management in accordance with landowner objectives and Forestry Best Management Practices as described in the "North Carolina Forestry Best Management Practices Manual to Protect Water Quality" published by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, or will advise landowners of the consequences of deviating from Forestry Best Management Practices.

(5)           A Registered Forester shall advertise and perform only those services for which the Registered Forester is qualified.

(6)           A Registered Forester shall indicate on whose behalf any public statements are made, and keep proprietary information confidential unless the appropriate person authorizes its disclosure.

(7)           A Registered Forester must avoid conflicts of interest or even the appearance of such conflicts.  If, despite such precaution, a conflict of interest is discovered, it must be disclosed to the Registered Forester's employer or client, and the Registered Forester must attempt to resolve the conflict.

(8)           A Registered Forester shall:  act in a civil and professional manner; respect the needs, contributions, and viewpoints of others, and; give credit to others for their methods, ideas, or assistance.

(9)           A Registered Forester shall not accept compensation or expenses from more than one employer for the same service, unless the parties involved are informed and consent.

(10)         A Registered Forester having evidence of violation of this code by another Registered Forester shall present the information and charges to the State Board of Registration for Foresters.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B-6; 89B-9; 89B-13;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. May 1, 1989; February 1, 1985;

Temporary Amendment Eff. June 1, 2001;

Amended Eff. September 1, 2010; August 1, 2002;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. December 16, 2014.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0116             REVOCATION OR SUSPENSION

(a)  The registration of any registered forester may be revoked or suspended by the Board for conduct found to violate the code of ethics adopted under Rule .0115 of this Chapter or G.S. 89B‑13.

(b)  Before any such Board action, the registrant shall have an opportunity for a full hearing in front of the Board.  The hearing shall be held in accordance with procedures found in Article 3A of G.S. 150B.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B‑6; 89B‑13; 150B‑3; 150B‑38;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. May 1, 1989; February 1, 1985;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. December 16, 2014.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0117             RECIPROCITY

(a)  For residents of North Carolina, within one year of establishing residency for voting purposes in North Carolina, individuals who are legally registered or licensed as foresters in another state, shall submit evidence of such registration or licensing to the Board.  A statement from the Board of registration or licensing in the state in which they are legally registered or licensed attesting that they are legally registered or licensed to practice forestry in that state, and indicating the final date on which their registration or license remains valid, shall be accepted by the Board as adequate evidence. This provision does not apply unless the state in which the applicant is registered or licensed observes similar rules of reciprocity in regard to persons registered under the provisions of G.S. 89B.

(b)  If the Board determines that the reciprocity applicant is qualified to practice as a registered forester in North Carolina, the Board shall issue a letter conveying this approval.

(c)  The fee for obtaining such reciprocity is the same as is charged a North Carolina resident seeking to obtain registration in the state of North Carolina.  (See Rule .0106 of this Section.)

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B-6; 89B-9;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. May 1, 1989; February 1, 1985;

Temporary Amendment Eff. March 1, 1999;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2010; August 1, 2000;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. December 16, 2014.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0118             REGISTERED FORESTERS

(a)  Persons registered as foresters under G.S. 89B are encouraged to insert the abbreviation R.F. (meaning registered forester) after their signatures.

(b)  The authorized forms are:

(1)           for signatures only:

(Name)  R.F.

official title

(2)           for certifications only:

(Name)  R.F.

title or designation

N. C. Registration No.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B‑6;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. May 1, 1989; February 1, 1985;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. December 16, 2014.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0119             AMENDMENTS

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B‑6; 150A‑5;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. February 1, 1985;

Repealed Eff. May 1, 1989.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0120             CERTIFICATION OF CONSULTING FORESTERS

Each registered forester who practices as a consulting forester shall file an affidavit with the Board each year by June 30, utilizing the proper form supplied by the Board.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B-2; 89B-6;

Eff. November 1, 1993;

Temporary Amendment Eff. March 1, 1999;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2000;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. December 16, 2014.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0121             REJECTION OF CONSULTANT AFFIDAVIT

Any applicant whose application to be certified as a consulting forester is rejected by the Board shall be notified of the rejection and the basis for it.  The applicant may request reconsideration by the Board and submit additional information.  Requests for reconsideration of the Board's decision must be made in writing to the Board.  The reconsidered decision shall be the Board's final agency decision.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B-2; 89B-6;

Eff. November 1, 1993;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. December 16, 2014.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0122             HANDLING OF COMPLAINTS

(a)  The Board, upon receipt of a notarized letter identifying specific complaints of gross negligence, fraud, deceit or flagrant misconduct in the practice of forestry or incompetence by a registered forester, shall follow-up by written correspondence to the accused requesting a response to the accusation.  The Board may request the complainant, the accused registrant, or both to personally appear before the Board.

(b)  Following a review of the facts and verification of the violation, the Board may choose appropriate action, which may include revocation or suspension of the registered forester status of the individual as outlined in Rule .0106 of this Section.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B-2; 89B-6; 89B-13; 89B-15; 150B-3; 150B-38;

Eff. November 1, 1993;

Temporary Amendment Eff. March 1, 1999;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2010; August 1, 2000;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. December 16, 2014.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0123             CONTINUING EDUCATION

(a)  All registered foresters shall attend continuing education courses annually to maintain their registration.  Ten CFE (Continuing Forestry Education) credits approved by the Society of American  Foresters are required each year, except as outlined in this Rule.  CFE's must be SAF category 1, 2, or 3, with at least six being from category 1.

(b)  Registered foresters shall verify CFE compliance to the Board with each annual renewal.

(c)  Those registered foresters who provide information to the Board that verifies that they are retired from a career in forestry may qualify to continue their registration by earning a minimum of three category 1, 2, or 3 CFE's annually.

(d)  The Board shall approve hardship cases, such as military deployment, extended illness or other circumstances that prevent the Registered Forester from obtaining the required CFE's upon request.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 89B-6; 89B-11;

Temporary Adoption Eff. March 1, 1999;

Eff. August 1, 2000;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2010;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. December 16, 2014.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0124             COMPLIANCE WITH ANNUAL REPORTS REQUIReMENTS

In the event the board's authority to expend funds is suspended pursuant to G.S. 93B-2, the board shall continue to issue and re-new licenses and all fees tendered shall be placed in the escrow account maintained by the board for this purpose.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 93B-2;

Eff. August 1, 2010;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. December 16, 2014.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0125             PETITION FOR RULE-MAKING

(a)  Any person may petition the State Board of Registration for Foresters (NCBRF) to adopt a new rule, or amend or repeal an existing rule by submitting a rule-making petition to NCBRF.  The petition must be titled "Petition for Rulemaking" and must include the following information:

(1)           the name and address of the person submitting the petition;

(2)           a citation to any rule for which an amendment or repeal is requested;

(3)           a draft of any proposed rule or amended rule;

(4)           an explanation of why the new rule or amendment or repeal of an existing rule is requested and the effect of the new rule, amendment, or repeal on the procedures of NCBRF; and

(5)           any other information the person submitting the petition considers relevant.

(b)  In making the decision to grant or deny the petition, the Board shall consider the information submitted with the petition and any other relevant information.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 150B-20;

Eff. September 1, 2010;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. December 16, 2014.

 

21 NCAC 20 .0126             DECLARATORY RULINGS: AVAILABILITY

Declaratory rulings pursuant to G.S. 150B-4 shall be issued by the State Board of Registration for Foresters (NCBRF) upon request only on the validity of a rule of the State NCBRF or on the applicability of a rule or order of the NCBRF to stipulated facts.  A declaratory ruling will not be issued on a matter requiring an evidentiary proceeding.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 150B-4;

Eff. August 1, 2010;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. December 16, 2014.