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Forest Certification
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Forest Certification

What Has Happened?

Forest management certification evolved to promote sustainability of forests and to promote environmentally acceptable forestry.

The movement has its origins in efforts to correct poor forestry practices in tropical rain forests. Since then, certification has spread to North America, Europe, and parts of Asia.

Worldwide, forestland certified by the two major schemes employed in North America are approaching 500 million acres. In the US, they combine for a total of 100 million acres.

Why It’s Important

Many manufacturers and landowners need certification for market access. Green building standards always include certification requirements for inclusion in their respective systems.

Most private landowners who choose not to certify cite expense, complexity, perception of benefits, and constraints on land usage. There is incremental movement on the part of certification schemes to accommodate the smaller landowner.

Green building certification systems like the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) restricts recognition and acceptance to only one certification system, effectively closing potential markets to many producers and landowners.

More Information on the Tree Farm System.
More Information on the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
More Information on the Forest Stewardship Council.

Our Position

There are many choices of certification schemes, and forest landowners who chose to become certified will be able to find an appropriate program. FLA does not endorse a certification program.

What’s Next?

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced USDA's strategy to promote wood as a green building product. Secretary Vilsack laid out a three-part plan addressing the Forest Service and USDA's current green building practice.

  1. The U.S. Forest Service will preferentially select wood in new building construction while maintaining its commitment to certified green building standards.
  2. The Secretary asked the Forest Service to increase its commitment to green building and to enhance the research and development on green building materials.
  3. The U.S. Forest Service will actively look for opportunities to demonstrate the innovative use of wood as a green building material for all new structures of 10,000 square feet or more using recognized green building standards such as LEED, Green Globes, or the National Green Building Standard.

 

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