Posted: October 11, 2019

Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania DCNR Bureau of For¬estry certified all of Pennsylvania’s state forestlands to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Forest Management Standard (NSF-SFI-FM-CO435749). These certified forests cover more than 2.2 million acres in 48 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, comprising 13% of the total forested area of the state.

The Pennsylvania DCNR Bureau of Forestry has cer¬tified all of the state-owned forests – more than 2.2 million acres – to the SFI Forest Management stan¬dard, ensuring these forestlands are managed in an environmentally responsible manner.

The Pennsylvania DCNR Bureau of Forestry has cer¬tified all of the state-owned forests – more than 2.2 million acres – to the SFI Forest Management stan¬dard, ensuring these forestlands are managed in an environmentally responsible manner.

The SFI Forest Management standard is the largest single forest certification standard in the world. It is open to any organization that owns or manages forestland in the United States or Canada and meets the certification requirements in the current SFI Forest Management Standard. With more than 364 million acres certified across North America, SFI accounts for almost 25% of certified forests worldwide. The Standard includes measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and forests with exceptional conservation value.
The Bureau of Forestry sought certification through the SFI Forest Partners® Program. The Program works to develop innovative approaches to group and coordinated certification for medium to large forest ownerships and smaller and medium-sized mills, and seeks collaboration, cost effectiveness, and incentives for certification across North America.

Timber harvested from Pennsylvania's state forests is now SFI certified, and certification ensures that products coming from state forestland are managed in an environmentally responsible manner. Consumers, particularly those in international markets, are constantly looking for assurance that their products are produced legally and sustainably, and support a healthy environment. The Bureau's SFI certification gives Pennsylvania's forest products industry more options for selecting the certification standard that makes the most sense for their individual businesses while also meeting consumer demand. "SFI certification will enhance the recognition and support of the Bureau's many partners and stakeholders involved with SFI and help expand opportunities for certified wood products markets in Pennsylvania," said Jason Albright, Assistant State Forester.

Certified program participants are required to complete surveillance audits every 12 months to verify ongoing conformance to the SFI Forest Management Standard, with a full re-certification every five years. These required audits represent a form of implementation and effectiveness monitoring and assist the Bureau in identifying gaps or improvement needs in management. In general, meeting the requirements of the certification process provides the Bureau additional opportunities for institutional developments to support implementation of ecosystem management.

While achieving certification to the SFI Forest Management standard has been a new undertaking, the Bureau has actually been deeply involved with SFI for a long time. The Bureau was a non-certified program participant up until 2014. They have abided by the SFI Standards and continue to serve as an active member of the Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee (SIC). The Bureau also encouraged and expanded logger training across Pennsylvania by voluntarily adopting a policy in 2007 that required the use of SFI Qualified Logging Professionals on all of the state's commercial timber harvesting operations. As a certified SFI program participant, the Bureau will now have much stronger ties to the Pennsylvania SIC and its work to expand sustainable forestry across Pennsylvania through the SFI program.

Pennsylvania now has 2,279,105 acres certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard, 22 companies that hold SFI Certified Sourcing certificates, and 68 companies that hold SFI Chain of Custody certification. State forestlands in Pennsylvania have been certified under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) since 1998 and will continue to be FSC certified in addition to SFI.

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

Center for Private Forests

Address

416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802

Center for Private Forests

Address

416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802