Abstract: This article provides an overview on sustainability certification and renewable biomass mandates and how these measures may accelerate the decline of nonindustrial private forests. The issue of mandatory sustainability certification and how it will increase costs with no assurance for price premiums for private forest landowners, thus reducing the environmental and amenity values that flow from private forests is addressed. Also discussed is the issue of mandating the use of renewable fuels and how it contradicts free market principles and will raise fuel costs. The article identifies a narrow definition of renewable biomass as a factor leading to foregone environmental improvements to private forest lands as well as an increase in bio mass prices due to a limited amount of suppliers. The article concludes that these policies should be reformed to recognize the existing high level of environmental stewardship on non industrial private forests, and to exempt nonindustrial private forests from sustainability requirements.
AbbreviationsFSC, Forest Stewardship Council; ENGO, Environmental Non Governmental Organization; SFI, Sustainable Forestry Initiative; LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design; EISA, Energy Independence and Security Act