SFI AND SCOUTS
The future of well-managed forests depends on developing the next generation of forest stewards.
Since 2012, the Boy Scouts of America and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.® (SFI) have partnered through a signed memorandum of mutual support to promote sustainable forestry, environmental conservation and wise use of natural resources through education, community involvement and demonstration. The agreement recognizes certification of BSA-owned lands to the SFI Forest Management Standard and is part of SFI’s commitment to bringing youth outdoors to connect with nature, conservation and forests. Getting kids into forests and helping them learn about sustainability is good for forests and good for youth.
Project Learning Tree (PLT), an initiative of SFI, is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12. PLT recently collaborated with BSA to correlate PLT activities to eight Cub Scout Adventures and six Scouts BSA merit badges. These correlations provide Scout leaders with ideas and hands-on, outdoor activities to help support Scouts, ages 5 to 17, with youth development goals. They also help introduce Scouts to careers in the outdoors, including jobs in forestry and natural resources conservation. To learn more, click here.
HELPING TO KEEP OUR FORESTS HEALTHY
Keeping our forests healthy means more than just replanting trees; it also means making sure habitats are healthy so the animals we love always have a place to call home. Certification of BSA-owned and managed forests to the SFI Forest Management Standard provides assurances of future forests and demonstrates sustainability to future leaders. Philmont Scout Ranch and the Summit Bechtel Reserve are both SFI-certified properties, and we are currently seeking interest from all BSA owned and managed properties to learn more about certification to the SFI Forest Management Standard. Overall, more than 100,000 acres of BSA land is certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard.
SFI also works with companies to use responsible practices when collecting (or sourcing) materials.
FUN SFI & SCOUT FACTS
Did you know?
- Philmont Scout Ranch – One of BSA’s four national High Adventure Bases in the U.S; BSA achieved certification of 90,000 acres in New Mexico to the SFI Forest Management Standard in 2008, and has maintained certification ever since.
- Summit Bechtel Reserve (i.e. the “Summit”) – BSA’s newest High Adventure Base located in West Virginia, and the new permanent site for the National Jamboree which occurs every four years. The Summit successfully achieved certification to the SFI Forest Management Standard in February, 2016 on approximently 13,000 acres.
- In 2013, BSA launched its new Sustainability merit badge highlighting Sustainable Forestry Initiative certification within the text. This merit badge was added to the list of required merit badges for Eagle rank.
- BSA’s two magazines, Scouting (for Scout leaders) and Boy’s Life (for Scouts) both carry the SFI on-product label for the paper these publications are printed on.
- All new BSA Merit Badge books also carry the SFI on-product label.
WHAT TYPES OF ANIMALS LIVE IN THE FORESTS?
Forests cover about 30% of land in the world, 33% of the land in the United States and about 41% of the land in Canada. Billions of animals like wolves, elk, birds, bears and caribou call these forests home! Our forests and the animals living in them are important to our future. From the air we breathe to the water we drink, forests touch our lives every day. That’s why it’s important that we help conserve these habitats by making sure that the forest products we buy (like paper and wooden toys) come from responsibly sourced materials.The forest is home to tens of thousands of species, the boreal forest, in Canada, alone is home to over 30,000 species, and billions of animals rely on it at some point during the year. The forest is important habitat for millions of mammals, birds, and aquatic species. Forests certified to SFI help protect animals that are threatened or endangered, as well as those that are not.
LOOK FOR THE SFI LABEL AND ASK FOR IT
If a product has the SFI label it means it was sourced from a certified forest and by a company that cares about how forests are managed. Look for the SFI label when you buy stuff for your home: food containers, boxes, napkins paper plates and cups, printer paper, grocery bags, lumber, envelopes, and even maple syrup and much more.
Don’t just look for the label, ask for it too! Ask your grocery store and home office supply store to stock SFI-certified products, tell your favorite pizza restaurant to use SFI-certified pizza boxes. There are lots of ways that you can support future forests!
WHAT CAN A TREE MAKE?
Many things come from the forest. Some trees are used to make houses, offices, bridges and other buildings. See below for some examples of other items that come from forests.