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March 2012

SFI Program Update
March 2012
Guest Blogs Call for USGBC to Open Up LEED

The comment period for Draft 3 of LEED 2012 has ended. SFI Inc. is pleased with credits specific for whole building Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Product Declarations, but remains perplexed with the treatment of third-party forest certification. Vague terms such as "FSC or Better" to earn certified wood credits have no place in a rating tool - and are a disservice to respected organizations calling on the U.S. Green Building Council to encourage more certified lands by opening up the credit to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and other credible standards in North America. This was the underlying theme of guest blogs posted on the SFI Good for Forests site, which explored the impact of the LEED 2012 forest certification requirements on rural communities, working forests, research, forest workers, forest professionals, Aboriginal interests, and many other areas.


SFI Conservation Partnership Grant Leads to the Protection of Southern Working Forests

There's a lot more buzz - and a lot more knowledge - about conservation easements in the U.S. Southeast thanks to outreach activities by the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust, Land Trust for Tennessee and Wildlands Network made possible by an SFI conservation partnership grant. One panelist called a Working Lands workshop on conservation easements and longleaf pine restoration ". . . one of the best, if not the best, forestry workshops I've attended." The partnership has already led to protection for close to 2,000 acres of working forest in Tennessee and North Carolina - and more is in the works. 



Girl Guides Make Good Use of New Skills

For the second year in a row, SFI Inc. sponsored a Skills Day at Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario, where more than 40 Girl Guides learned about forest certification and how to work with wood. They made immediate use of their skills by building picnic tables for the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate with SFI-certified lumber donated by the Ontario SFI Implementation Committee.
Logger Training Is Making a Difference on the Ground

SFI is the only certification program in North America to support logger training - and this is often cited as one of the reasons for high implementation rates for Best Management Practices (BMPs) to protect water quality. A 2011 report from the Texas Forest Service - Voluntary Implementation of Forestry Best Management Practices in East Texas - found the implementation rate was at an all-time high of 96.2% at sites serving SFI-certified mills, up from 95.3% in 2008. Since 1995, 130,000 resource and logging professionals have been trained through SFI-recognized programs. Alabama State Forester Linda Casey has credited SFI certification as one reason why BMP implementation rate in her state is 97%.


New Members Elected to SFI Board

David Walkem, President of Stuwix Resources Joint Venture, and Craig Blair, President and CEO of Resource Management Service LLC, were elected to the economic chamber of the independent SFI Board of Directors in early March. Walkem, chief of Cooks Ferry Band in British Columbia, welcomed the chance to strengthen the link between the SFI program and indigenous communities. Blair said his involvement in the multi-disciplinary board builds on his company's legacy of responsible forest management.

More than 15,000 people have viewed the Certified Wood Branches Out Continuing Education Unit that SFI Inc. created in conjunction with McGraw Hill! Haven't seen it yet?  Read it here.



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