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October 2013 Newsletter

SFI IN BRIEF        

A monthly newsletter to keep you informed.
 
Fun Fact: How Big is SFI? 
BIG! Forests certified to the SFI Standard cover the same area as the forests in the Caribbean, Central America, Western and Central Asia combined! Now that's a proof point! (248 million acres/100 million ha = 1 million km2)

 

Gaining Aboriginal Input on the SFI Standard

SFI staff met with representatives of Capacity Forest Management, Stuwix Resources, Yakama Forest Products, Yakama Nation, and guests, including JP Gladu of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) and Keith Atkinson of the BC First Nations Forestry Council, to discuss the SFI standard from an indigenous perspective. SFI Board member Chief David Walkem, Stuwix Resources participated in the workshop at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Center. The workshop participants raised excellent ideas about improving the standard, and opportunities for future collaboration and exchanges. 

NASF Reaffirms Positions on
Forest Certification, Green Building

At the conclusion of the National Association of State Foresters (NASF) 2013 Annual Meeting on September 24, the association approved six policy positions by resolution. One resolution reaffirmed NASF's position on Forest Certification as it Contributes to Sustainable ForestryThe policy position states that "Forest certification requires rigorous documentation to prove that forestry practices are sustainable as defined by a widely accepted standard." The policy outlines the key elements of credible forest certification systems and notes that "the ATFS, FSC, and SFI systems include the fundamental elements of credibility and make positive contributions to forest sustainability."

 

A second resolution reaffirmed NASF's position on Green Building and the Role of Wood Products. The resolution urges green building standards to "recognize the value of U.S. wood that is certified by a credible forestland certification standard as having been grown in a sustainable manner, keeping in mind that there are multiple certification standards and systems that are credible and nationally recognized, and that the diversity of U.S. forestlands requires the use of multiple forestland certification standards and systems."

 

The resolutions are voted on by the membership and guide the association in their efforts to address forestry issues at the federal level. 

Also at NASF - Steve Koehn Honored

At the National Association of State Foresters annual meeting last week Steve Koehn, State Forester of Maryland and member of the SFI Board of Directors, received the award for Outstanding Forestry Regulation from the National Woodland Owners Association. The award was in recognition of the Maryland Forestry Protection Act of 2013, which committed the state to no net loss of forestland, offers new incentives to landowners to plant trees, and also codified their commitment to sustainable forestry through the certification of their state lands to the SFI and FSC standard.

SFI Checks Out Ducks Unlimited Canada's Great Work
Andrew deVries, SFI's VP of Conservation and Indigenous Relations along with many of SFI's great partners - Ducks Unlimited, Louisiana Pacific, FP Innovations and Spruce Forest Products -  enjoyed a cold and rainy day checking out the forested wetlands and road construction techniques in the Boreal Forest of Manitoba, near Sawn River. As they say, a bad day in the bush is better than a good day in the office!
SFI attends RILA
Jason Metnick, SFI's VP of Customer Affairs attended  the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) Sustainability Conference that wrapped up in Florida. Participants. Over 350 sustainability and compliance executives in the retail industry attended the three day event. The conference is designed to educate retail and consumer product manufacturer executives on the current trends and skills regarding sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and compliance.
In Memoriam - Mark Junkins

We're deeply sorry to report that Mark Junkins, with McShan Lumber Company, passed away on Tuesday, October 1st.  Mark was not only the face and voice of McShan Lumber Company but a commanding face and voice for the forest products industry which he loved so much.  Mark was a true champion for the SFI program.  Our deepest condolences to his wife Phyllis and sons Travis and John Mark during this time of loss. Memorials can be made to Big Oak Ranch, P.O. Box 507, Springville, AL 35146 or the Mt. Vernon Church "Imagine" Fund, 200 Mt. Vernon Road, Columbus, MS 39702.  

Annual Conference Resources 
Another great conference is behind us! We had a great time in San Antonio where we focused on "Writing the Next Chapter" in the ongoing story of sustainable forestry. We know from our past successes that forest certification works, but it takes cooperation, coordination and communication to be truly effective.  

 

If you missed it this year, get a recap with Kathy's blog and find the highlights and the conference presentations here. We'll soon be adding a highlights video from the conference, so make sure to check back later this month. If you have any request for video footage or photos, please contact Monika Gurzenski.

 

Next year's Annual Conference will be held in Montreal on September 16-18. So save the date now! See you there!

 

Maine SIC Spotlight - Interview with Audubon
Wildfire Episode 15 -- Sustainable Forestry
Wildfire Episode 15 --
Sustainable Forestry
Pat Sirois, Maine SFI Implementation Committee coordinator, was recently interviewed by a local Maine Time Warner Channel, discussing the Maine Fisheries Improvement Network, or FIN.  The Maine Audubon Wildfire interview focused on FIN's stream crossing work.  The show is broadcast throughout Central and Southern Maine, reaching roughly 300,000 viewers.   The Maine SFI Implementation was one of three, including Minnesota and Georgia, to receive the 15th Annual SFI Implementation Committee Achievement Award during the 2013 SFI Annual Conference.  Maine was instrumental in bringing together stakeholders from around the state in a project to protect habitats for Atlantic salmon and native brook trout by promoting improved stream crossings, fish passage and water quality protection.   
Texas SIC Shares its Recipe for Success

One of the keys to SFI's success across North America is the unique grassroots network of partners, stakeholders and resource professionals who guide efforts at the local level. We recently caught up with James Edelen, Chair of the Texas SFI Implementation Committee, to talk about sustainable forestry in Texas, the many activities of the committee, and their recipe for success, including recently hosting the SFI annual conference in San Antonio.

 

"When I brought the [SFI annual conference] sponsorship idea up to the committee late last year it was unanimous that we would take the opportunity to bring together SFI's diverse audience and show off the great state of Texas," said Edelen. The conference presented a great opportunity to highlight the vastness of the state and the economic contributions of working forests.

 

The diverse activity of the Texas SFI Implementation Committee is reflective of the state it serves; this year committee members hosted landowner meetings, conducted logger training, and staffed a booth at the Texas State Fair just 10 days after the SFI annual conference. In one of their more creative campaigns, committee members attended a Stephen F. Austin State University ladies soccer game, tossing out foam soccer balls with the SFI logo and sharing information about forests and forestry in the Lone Star State. Before the Texas State Fair concludes on October 20, thousands of people will visit the forestry booth, many stopping by for a free tree seedling. Logger training is another cornerstone of the committee's efforts: hundreds of hours of instruction are conducted annually across Texas, supported by the SFI Implementation Committee. It seems they never pass up an opportunity to reach out and talk about Texas forests.

 

So, why are the committee members so dedicated to education, outreach and spreading the word about SFI and sustainable forestry? "I feel it's important because there is so much false information and a general lack of knowledge of forestry outside of our industry," says Edelen.

 

"Doing public outreach events -- no matter how big or small -- is where the rubber meets the road," he says. As for advice Edelen would give to other SFI Implementation Committees looking to expand their reach: "Utilize members of your committee to get the job done," he says, "There is vast knowledge and know-how amongst committee members, and all it takes is a call for help and the members respond graciously. Get out there and spread the forestry message."

 

Spreading the message is a big job in Texas, but we're sure the Texas SFI Implementation Committee is up to the challenge. 

 

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