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Timberland Investment Resources Certify Over 600,000 Acres to SFI Standard

Timberland Investment Resources Certify Over 600,000 Acres to SFI Standard | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Today, over 600,000 acres of timberland managed by Timberland Investment Resources, LLC (TIR) have been certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) standard.  TIR's investment footprint spans 14 states, with a significant presence in the southeastern U.S.  Their certification builds on the SFI Forest Partners® Program's previous successes in South Carolina and Florida, as well as the ongoing work with a wide range of medium-sized private and public landowners, and manufacturing facilities.  These certified lands, in addition to the over 500,000 acres recently announced by the St. Joe Company, put the SFI Forest Partners Program well on the road to achieving its 2014 milestone of certifying 5 million acres of forestland to the SFI standard.

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Beware of a Forestry Standard Monopoly

Beware of a Forestry Standard Monopoly | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Forest certification programs establish responsible management practices and standards.  If landowners meet the standards of the program, then the forests are certified by that program, which communicates to consumers and businesses that timber products purchased from this landowner were harvested responsibly.


In the case of forestry management, the definition of “what is responsible” can vary.  And, balancing these conflicting interests is complex to say the least.  Due to this complexity, multiple forestry certification programs have arisen.  The existence of multiple programs allows forest owners and consumers to choose between the alternative costs and benefits based on their own values and constraints.  This competitive process creates a more efficient balancing of the intended and unintended consequences than a monopolistic standard that imposes a standard before a better accounting of the full consequences can be ascertained.


Despite the benefits from competition, some environmental activists favor one program (the Forest Stewardship Council or FSC) and are encouraging that this program be granted monopolistic authority.  A new EconoSTATS paper, authored by Brooks Mendell and Amanda Hamsley Lang (available here), illustrates the dangers from this proposal.


Mendell and Lang found that FSC certification overly restricts the amount of output that can be produced from the same amount of acreage compared to the other major certification programs – the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).   The reduced acreage available for timber harvests leads to smaller harvests of U.S-produced timber compared with the other certification programs. The reduced output leads to income losses that result in lost employment and lost tax revenues.


Direct jobs lost include foresters, loggers, millworkers, and forestry consultants and contractors. Indirect jobs lost include jobs that support the forest industry, such as motor freight transportation, machinery repair, and wholesale trade.  Indirect job impacts also include “induced” jobs created by the spending of workers in the forest industry.


According to Mendell and Lang, these impacts could be quite large if an FSC monopoly were implemented. 

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Rolling Stones keyboardist gets ‘satisfaction’ opposing green building program

Rolling Stones keyboardist gets ‘satisfaction’ opposing green building program | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

In a Mother Nature Network opinion editorial, Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell offered hearty praise for governors who have recently taken a stand for fairness in forest certification. Leavell, a Georgia resident, cited Peach State Gov. Nathan Deal’s recent executive order that future state building projects are required to “recognize all forest certifications equally” for inspiring the musician’s wonkish praise.

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The move spelled the end of Georgia’s adherence to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) in regards to green building standards. LEED only recognizes one form of certification, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and is promoting monopoly in an area that should be ripe for domestic competition.

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Governor Deal’s executive order has now opened the doors to lands certified by standards “like Sustainable Forestry Initiative and American Tree Farm System” and will result in better utilization of resources native to Georgia.

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St. Joe Timberlands Certify Half a Million Acres to SFI Standard

St. Joe Timberlands Certify Half a Million Acres to SFI Standard | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Inc. is pleased to announce that over half a million acres of timberland owned by The St. Joe Company have recently been certified to the SFI Standard. The majority of the timberlands are located in Northwest Florida and have become a proof point for responsible forest management certification to the SFI Standard.

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Verifying Forest Sustainability

Verifying Forest Sustainability | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Increased talk about the use of woody biomass for energy in the U.S. has many people wondering how best to assure that the fuel and feedstock used by wood energy firms is harvested sustainably. The forest products industry—sawmills and pulp mills, in particular—has been down this road for more than 15 years and many have turned to the major forest certification systems available in the U.S., namely the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, the Forest Stewardship Council and the American Tree Farm System. These systems may or may not be the best way to demonstrate the sustainability of feedstock harvesting for the woody biomass energy sector. In the end, your customers’ needs and your company values should drive what you do about forest sustainability.

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Time, Nat Geo Partner with Sustainable Forestry Initiative

Time, Nat Geo Partner with Sustainable Forestry Initiative | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Four major North American publishers – Time Inc., the National Geographic Society, Macmillan, and Pearson – have joined the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s (SFI) Forest Partners Program as founding members.


The program creates a way for the publishing industry to support SFI’s certification program for forest and forest products. SFI said the new partners will work collectively with the SFI community to make certification more efficient and accessible by providing resources for activities such as shared consulting expertise, group certification or audit coordination.


[Editor: Thanks to Mike Smith at http://www.southem.com for bringing this to our attention]

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