A forester was also a title used widely during Medieval times. The forester usually held a position equal to a sheriff or local law enforcer, and he could act as a barrister or arbiter. He was responsible for patrolling the woodlands on a lord or noble's property, hence the synonymous term 'woodward'. His duties included negotiating deals for the sale of lumber and timber and stopping poachers from illegally hunting. Many times wanted criminals would hide in a forest, when this occurred it was the duty of the Forester to organize armed gangs to capture the criminal. Their pay was usually above average and they could make a decent living.
Many people confuse the role of the forester with that of the logger, but most foresters are concerned not only with the harvest of timber, but also with the sustainable management of forests to (in the words of Gifford Pinchot) "provide the greatest good for the greatest number in the long term". Another notable forester, Jack C. Westoby, remarked that "forestry is concerned not with trees, but with how trees can serve people".
Usually a bachelor's degree is considered the minimum education required, but some individuals are able to secure a job without a college education based on their experience. Some states have a licensing requirement for foresters, and most of those require at least a four year degree.
Foresters are often employed by private industry, federal and state land management agencies, or private consulting firms.