Nearly 4 million acres of the state’s forestland will continue to carry the “gold standard” of sustainable forestry certification since the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources and Environment (MDNRE) announced today it received recertification by the nation’s two most prominent programs, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).
“This is good for our environment and our economy,” said Helen Taylor, The Nature Conservancy’s state director for Michigan. “It’s a stamp of approval from two widely recognized programs that Michigan’s forestry practices are among the best in the nation. We applaud Rodney Stokes and his staff in the department for their success in this major effort to help ensure the sustainable productivity of our state’s natural resources.”
Under FSC and SFI guidelines, the state had to demonstrate that its forest management meets or exceeds set standards for protecting water quality, maintaining wildlife habitat, preserving natural areas and ensuring proper forest regeneration. The SFI standard is recognized in the United States and Canada, and the FSC principles and criteria are recognized globally.
Major purchasers of forest products like Time Warner, HomeDepot, Lowe’s and FedEx/Kinko’s have begun requiring that suppliers demonstrate their product comes from well-managed forests.
“With purchasers demanding more sustainable products, Michigan is stepping forward as a leader to help fill that void in the marketplace,” Taylor said. “The term ‘Made in Michigan’ should mean something, and with certification, we can confidently say that products made from our state forests were harvested in the most sustainable way.”
“Sustainable forestry includes protection of forests with high conservation value,” Taylor continued. “We’re pleased with the state’s attention to environmentally sensitive areas.”
Last year, The Nature Conservancy and Governor Granholm announced the completion of the Northern Great Lakes Forest Project (a.k.a. “Big U.P. Deal”) that protects more than 271,000 acres through a working forest easement on 248,000 acres with The Forestland Group, LLC, and acquisition by The Nature Conservancy of 23,338 acres in the Upper Peninsula. That agreement also included provisions linked to FSC standards.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
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