Sustainable forest management, as defined by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, is the stewardship and use of forests and forest lands in a way, and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfill, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions, at local, national, and global levels, and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems.
Forest Certification programs sprouted in the 1990s to address rampant deforestation and mismanagement in developing countries. Today there are several forest certification agencies that verify the sustainable forest management practices of land management companies, forest product manufacturers, and other related organizations. The certifying agencies typically assess forest management using sustainable forest principles, criteria, and performance measures.
North American companies have practiced sustainable forest management long before certification came into existence. For this reason many manufacturers opt to forgo some certification programs - not because they do not comply with the standards of certification, but rather because of the expenses involved in obtaining and maintaining certification, which may include independent auditing, membership dues, and additional fees. Contact each manufacturer directly to learn about its philosophy and practices regarding sustainable forest management.
Forest Certification and APA Members
Forest certification programs verify the sustainable forest management practices of land management companies, forest product manufacturers, and other related organizations. The list below provides the forest management certifications of select APA member manufacturers.
Forest Management Certification Key:
• ATFS = American Tree Farm System
• CSA = Canadian Standards Association
• FSC = Forest Stewardship Council
• PEFC = Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification
• SFI = Sustainable Forestry Initiative
• OTHER = Meets other local, state and/or regional federal regulations (as applicable) regarding sustainable forest management. Contact manufacturer directly for specific information.