Posted: January 8, 2021

Well-educated and prepared timber harvesters are critical to the sustainable management of our forests. That is why logger training has been a foundational principle of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program since its start in 1995.

Through a logger training program, inmates prepare for possible future employment in Pennsylvania's forest products industry.

Through a logger training program, inmates prepare for possible future employment in Pennsylvania's forest products industry.

Since that time, the Pennsylvania SFI® Implementation Committee (SIC) has organized countless logger training programs across the state, providing more than 7,000 individuals with tools, information, and resources to manage Pennsylvania's forests safely, responsibly, and professionally.

While this training is crucial to Pennsylvania's current logging workforce, we have found that it also can serve as an important workforce development tool. Recently, the Pennsylvania SFI® Implementation Committee partnered with the PA Department of Corrections and the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to offer logger training to inmates enrolled at SCI Rockview's Forestry Camp near Bellefonte, PA. Rockview's Forestry Camp is a unique minimum security housing unit surrounded by about 2,500 acres of forestland and a 100+ tree nursery. The forestry detail manages prison forestland for timber and firewood production, maintains roads and trails, and conducts tree pruning, tree planting, and hazardous tree removal for area communities. The inmates enrolled in the program are near the end of their sentences.

In October and November, the inmates completed the core training courses that the Pennsylvania SIC requires to recognize individuals as SFI Qualified Logging Professionals. This includes hands-on training in chainsaw operation safety and felling practices, operational safety and OSHA compliance, and extensive education in stewardship and environmental regulations.

This partnership provides the inmates with a well-respected and widely-recognized credential in Pennsylvania's forest products industry and will help prepare them for employment opportunities after their release.

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

Written by Chuck Coup, PA SFI Implementation Committee Program Manager

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