Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee Updates

Posted: January 13, 2017

Winter 2017 Updates from the Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee

One of the fundamental strengths of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) is its unique grassroots network of SFI Implementation Committees (SICs). The SICs play a vital role in promoting training and landowner outreach, maintaining the integrity of the SFI program, and supporting and promoting responsible forestry. In Pennsylvania, the SIC is made up of a diverse group of dedicated volunteers committed to improving the management of Pennsylvania’s forests for the benefit of current and future generations.
Another strength of the SFI program is its unique approach to sustainable forestry, recognizing that all forest landowners, not just SFI Program Participants, play a critical role in ensuring the long-term health and sustainability of our forests. The Pennsylvania SIC actively promotes quality management on the private forestlands that make up 70% of Pennsylvania’s 17-million-acre forest resource through two primary means: logger training and landowner/public outreach.

PA SFI Professional Timber Harvester Training Program

Pennsylvania’s logging workforce serves a vital role ensuring the sustainability of our state’s forest resources. The PA SFI Professional Timber Harvester Training Program educates our logging workforce and gives them the tools they need to operate safely and efficiently, in accordance with all applicable rules and regulations, and to sustainably manage Pennsylvania’s forests for generations to come. It is the only statewide logger training program in Pennsylvania with verifiable recordkeeping and established curriculum requirements that include continuing education. Since the training program began in 1995, more than 7,000 individuals have participated, representing nearly 140,000 hours (about 70 work years) of combined training time. Our training participants working across Pennsylvania daily implement what they have learned through our training program.

The Pennsylvania SIC continues to provide high-quality educational opportunities by partnering with experts in related fields. Last year Penn State professors, extension educators, wildlife specialists, staff from numerous county conservation districts, and experts from the logging and finance industries helped supply professional training on sustainable forest management, chainsaw felling safety, best management practices, habitat management, log quality optimization, and business management.
The Pennsylvania SIC also operates a unique workforce recruitment program that allows high school and postsecondary students enrolled in forest management programs to participate in our training courses and graduate with the PA SFI training credential. The goal is to encourage students to consider a future career in Pennsylvania’s forest products industry. Of the 99 individuals completing our core training requirements last year, 27 were students who completed the requirements through the PA SFI high school and forest technology program partnerships. No other SIC we know of has a comparable workforce recruitment program.

Landowner and Public Outreach

Although most of Pennsylvania’s forest landowners do not own their forests for timber production, many engage in commercial harvests and represent a considerable portion of Pennsylvania’s wood fiber supply. Unfortunately, too many of these harvests occur without professional assistance or management planning. The Pennsylvania SIC recognizes that private landowners across the state collectively influence the sustainability of Penn’s Woods, making landowner outreach a core mission of our program and a requirement for SFI participating companies to follow.

The Pennsylvania SIC website provides access to some of the best forest stewardship resources available online, all conveniently organized in one place. The Pennsylvania SIC also strives to connect forest landowners with professional timber harvesters qualified through our training program. Our online database allows anyone to search and review the credentials of any of our training participants.

Unfortunately, there is not enough room here to detail all of our program efforts; hopefully, it provides information on the important work supported by the Pennsylvania SIC. With continued support and input of SFI Program Participants and SIC Partners & Supporters we will press on to promote the sustainable use of Pennsylvania’s forest resource for the benefit of present and future generations.

For more information about the Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee, please visit the website or call 888-734-9366.

Contact Information

Chuck Coup
  • PA SIC Program Manager