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Career Opportunity at Cotton-Hanlon, Inc.

Chief Forester



Cotton-Hanlon, Inc.

Job Type:

Full Time


Cayuta, NY

Job Description:

Cotton-Hanlon, Inc. (C-H) is seeking a chief forester to lead its forestland management activities. C-H owns and manages over 33,000 acres in New York and Pennsylvania for the full array of forest products and services, including timber, recreational leases and energy leases amongst other things. The chief forester will create strategies to develop and monetize these product streams including development and execution of long-term and short-term forest management plans that meet revenue goals and move properties toward a desired future condition of increased structural and native species diversity and improved forest health and productivity. Keeps current on, and conducts research and experimentation to enhance the profitability, utilization, and/or productivity of the Company's forest resources.

The chief forester will direct a forestry team including company, local contractors and consultants for direct property management and supervision, including recruiting, training, and managing C-H forestry staff and local forest property managers where needed. Tasks involve ensuring employee safety, planning, budgeting, contract procurement and supervision, inspections/monitoring, mapping, government permitting, database development and integration with GIS, adapting methods to utilize new technology, and experimentation as well as typical forestry field work. The chief forester will be an integral member of C-H’s management team, involved in strategic planning, budgeting, and development of new business initiatives.

Primary Duties:

Oversee the following functions:

  • Harvest planning, budgeting, unit layout, road construction & maintenance, regulatory permitting, post-harvest cruise/inventory

  • Preparation of timber sale contracts

  • Preparation of recreational leases

  • Deed research and preparation

  • Development and application of silvicultural prescriptions to achieve financial and ecological goals

  • Design and implementation of monitoring system to ensure forest properties are being managed towards desired future condition

  • Supervise, recruit, monitor and incentivize a growing team of field personnel and consulting foresters

  • Provide and/or coordinate field reconnaissance for due diligence and acquisition analysis for targeted timberland properties

  • Develop, execute & monitor performance on long-term and short-term property management plans

  • Update and maintain General Forest Management Plan

  • Stay abreast of new strategies and innovation in silviculture and property management and successfully communicate and implement better management practices

  • Monitor property tax assessment and grieve when necessary

  • Pest (insect, etc) monitoring and control

  • Respond to any issues that might arise with adjacent landowners

  • Maintain relationships with local government officials

  • Keep abreast of market and industry pricing and trends

  • Maintain an excellent written and GIS record of all significant forest activities

  • Lead/Participate in investor, community, and other stakeholder communications including meetings, presentations, and property tours

  • Evaluate/develop new business lines

  • Maintain and develop an online presence for hunting leases and other uses

  • And other duties as assigned or required



Significant forest management experience, including field forestry and contract supervision

  • 10-15 years of experience in the industry preferred

  • BS in forestry preferred

  • Ability to be highly motivated and self-directed

  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

  • Demonstrated initiative and commitment to conservation

  • Willingness to take risks and develop creative approaches

  • Ability to interact effectively with diverse stakeholders, including public agencies, conservation groups, and members of local communities

  • Exhibits strong leadership skills

  • Works with integrity, trust and commitment, setting an example for others

  • Ability to analyze and negotiate energy leases

  • Effective and productive communications skills; speaks well, communicates ideas clearly; writes well, clearly and concisely

  • Proficient with the MS Office suite of programs and GIS mapping

  • Proficient with SILVAH

  • Is approachable and open to discussion

  • Exhibits a "can do" attitude with a positive approach to challenges. Views challenges as opportunities to learn and grow

  • Creative problem solving is a must

  • Conducts self in a professional manner at all times


Physical Requirements/ Work Environment:

This position is located in Cayuta, NY. Fieldwork in addition to a normal office environment with moderate noise levels, occasional lifting, regular walking, sitting, bending, twisting, standing and reaching. Ability to orient, climb and traverse steep rugged, densely vegetated terrain on a consistent basis in sometimes harsh weather conditions for long periods of time. Ability to work independently. Works in conditions that may expose employee to wildlife encounters, poison ivy and/or insect bites. Commitment to daily travel to and from the Cayuta office to forestland properties. Ability to tour logging operations, attend training and company functions. Must maintain punctual and regular attendance and present appropriate professional appearance at all times.



C-H manages its land on behalf of the owners of the company to enhance forest health and productivity, and to produce a diverse income stream from forest products, energy leases, hunting leases in addition to other yet to be known or realized sources such as carbon and conservation easements.



To be negotiated based on experience


How to apply: 

Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter to Michael Hanlon, President, Cotton-Hanlon, Inc., Box 65, Cayuta, NY 14824


Closing date: 

October 5, 2020


After 25 years Bob O’Brien has decided to take an early retirement, but he’ll be working with everyone at C-H to ensure a smooth transition all through out the process from the interviewing to the final on boarding training/orientation.

Questions about the position can be directed to Mike Hanlon or Bob O’Brien at , or 607-594-4600

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