Forest Certification Support

Background 

Forest certification programs have many provisions in addition to those requiring investment in and application of research to enhance the practice of sustainable forestry. For example, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Standard requires participating companies to be aware of topics such as regional conservation planning efforts, invasive species programs, regional/state assessments of forest resources, and current laws, regulations, and international protocols.

The SFI® Standard also contains provisions uniquely relevant to certification of wood procurement operations. For example, the SFI® Standard encourages companies to provide sound technical information to landowners and to assess the effectiveness of their outreach efforts. NCASI member companies could implement provisions within forest certification programs related to these and other topics in a more cost-effective manner if they had access to up-to-date compendia of relevant information (e.g., descriptions of invasive species programs) and sound tools for conducting assessments. Another section of this website details how the NCASI forestry program specifically addresses the SFI® Standard.

Goal 

Develop technical information and tools that will help members identify and/or develop cost-effective and credible options for meeting forest certification requirements.

Examples of Recent or Ongoing Tasks 

  • Evaluating Features of Verifiable BMP Monitoring Systems – This study is reviewing statistical designs and metrics used by state agencies and volunteer SFI Participants to monitor rates of Best Management Practices (BMP) compliance to propose one or more systems that could be used at the scale of typical “wood and fiber supply areas” as required in the SFI Standard. The study also would conduct simulations or power analyses to evaluate the minimum sample sizes required to detect improvement in rates of BMP compliance at various scales.
  • State/Regional Assessments of Forest Resource Sustainability – The task is seeking to develop reliable methods for state and regional monitoring and modeling of regeneration and growth/drain which would facilitate assessments and help forest products companies evaluate the long-term sustainability of timber resources in areas that they operate and promote sustainable practices.
  • Compendium of Regional Conservation Planning Efforts – This task is supporting development of a compendium of information about regional conservation plans (e.g., The Nature Conservancy’s ecoregional plans) with an initial focus on the eastern United States.
  • Annotated Hyper-text Index of Laws, Regulations, and International Protocols – This task is supporting development of an annotated hyper-text index to laws, regulations and international protocols relevant to the practice of sustainable forestry.
  • Review of Literature on Environmental Impacts of Fuel Spills/Releases – This task is assembling a bibliography of literature related to fuel spills with an emphasis on key pieces of literature that may benefit forest product company management practices or systems (e.g., BMPs/EMS). The task also will seek to summarize reporting requirements for key industry states, remediation methods, and cleanup products.
  • Technical Support for SFI Implementation – NCASI is seeking to help member companies implement provisions of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Standard through activities such as development of a guide to programs directed towards limiting the introduction, impact, and spread of invasive species.

More details about these and other tasks can be found elsewhere on the NCASI website. For more information about the NCASI Sustainable Forestry and Eastern Wildlife Program, contact Dr. Ben Wigley at bwigley@ncasi.org.