President Of Bird Studies Canada Joins SFI Inc. Board

By |2018-02-26T19:02:45-04:00April 4th, 2011|Categories: News Release|

April 04, 2011

LONG POINT, Ontario – George H. Finney, President of Bird Studies Canada has been elected to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) independent Board of Directors.

“The SFI Board of Directors has three chambers so its members can represent the environmental, social and economic interests of our forests and communities fairly and equally,” SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow said today. “George Finney is a welcome addition to our environmental chamber because he leads an organization that, like SFI, harnesses the power of partnerships to strengthen conservation and improve forest habitat.”

Not-for-profit Bird Studies Canada (www.birdscanada.org) works with a wide range of government, non-government and industry partners, and 20,000 citizen volunteers to advance the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of wild birds and their habitats, in Canada and elsewhere. Bird Studies Canada was a partner in a unique study of bird populations to improve forestry practices in Canada’s Acadian forests that won an SFI Leadership in Conservation Research Award in 2008.

“Bird Studies Canada and SFI have common objectives – to promote responsible forest management and to protect wildlife habitat,” Finney said. “A lot of our work is on SFI-certified lands so we work closely with SFI program participants. It’s a great partnership – they help us collect information, especially in remote areas, and we provide the data they need to strengthen management planning and meet certification requirements.”

SFI Inc. is a registered charitable organization responsible for the largest single forest certification standard in the world. The SFI program works with a wide array of partners to improve forest management in the United States and Canada and sourcing worldwide.

SFI board members include representatives of environmental, professional and academic groups, independent loggers, family forest landowners, public officials, labour and the forest products sector. Finney replaces Steve Williams, President of the Wildlife Management Institute, who has completed his second three-year term with the board’s environmental chamber.


Since 2004, George H. Finney has been president of Bird Studies Canada, a non-profit environmental conservation organization. Bird Studies Canada (www.birdscanada.org) advances the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of wild birds and their habitats in Canada and elsewhere.

Bird Studies Canada partners with Environment Canada and more than 100 provincial government agencies, NGOs, industries, foundations, environmental consultancies and hundreds of volunteers to deliver the Breeding Bird Atlas projects in the Maritimes, Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec and British Columbia, including seven SFI program participants – NewPage, Port Hawkesbury Corporation, Bowater Mersey Paper Company Ltd., Abitibi-Bowater, J.D. Irving Ltd., Acadian Timber and Louisiana-Pacific Corp. Data from Bird Studies Canada’s surveys and targeted research projects are used to identify significant population changes and help direct conservation planning.

Bird Studies Canada was among the partners in the Birds as Bioindicators of Biodiversity Study that received an SFI Leadership in Conservation Research award in 2008. The study evaluated the reproductive performance of several songbird and woodpecker species in treated and controlled areas of public lands managed by UPM-Kymmene in New Brunswick, with a goal to use results in the development of future best management practices.

Before joining Bird Studies Canada, Finney was with the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) since 1977. He was Director of the CWS Atlantic Region from 1985 to 2004, where his responsibilities included regional Environment Canada programs related to natural resource conservation, water conservation and management, migratory bird conservation, Species at Risk and protected areas, ecosystem science, and laboratory analysis.

In 1999, Finney received the Canadian Prime Minister’s Outstanding Achievement Award for his accomplishments in the development of innovative programs and the creation of partnerships. Finney earned his B.A. and Ph.D. from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

April 2011

Board members representing the environmental sector, which includes non-profit environmental or conservation organizations:

  • Larry Selzer, (Vice-Chair) President and CEO, The Conservation Fund
  • George Finney, President, Bird Studies Canada
  • Tom Franklin, Senior Vice-President, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
  • John M. Hagan III, President, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences
  • Roger Sedjo, Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future
  • Mike Zagata, Executive Director and CEO, Ruffed Grouse Society

Board members representing the social sector, which includes community or social interest groups such as universities, labour, family forest owners or government agencies:

  • Mary Motlow, (Secretary-Treasurer) representing family forest landowners
  • Richard W. (Dick) Brinker, Dean Emeritus, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University
  • Stewart Hardacre, President and CEO, Habitat for Humanity Canada
  • Steven W. Koehn, Director/State Forester, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
  • Charles Tattersall (Tat) Smith Jr., Professor, Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto
  • William V. (Bill) Street Jr., Director, Woodworkers Department, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Board members representing the economic sector, which includes the forest, paper and wood products industry or other for-profit forest ownership or management entities:

  • Robert A. (Bob) Luoto (Chair), representing independent professional loggers and the American Loggers Council
  • John B. Crowe, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Buckeye Technologies Inc.
  • Matthew Donegan, Co-President, Forest Capital Partners LLC
  • Daniel S. Fulton, President and CEO, Weyerhaeuser Company
  • Rick R. Holley President & CEO, Plum Creek Timber Company Inc
  • Henry H. (Hank) Ketcham, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.