AF&PA’s Sustainable Forestry InitiativeSM Program---Industry’s Assessment Tool

Rick Cantrell (Presenter), American Forest and Paper Association

Mardie Pfeiffer, Forestry Intern

1994 marked a new era for members of the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA). A new goal was set for the forest industry: to enhance the environment by visibly changing the practice of forestry on industrial forestland, especially as it pertains to water quality, wildlife, and biodiversity.  In response to this challenge, AF&PA member companies created the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)SM program.  The SFISM program has been a remarkable success, with 147 program participants and over 63 million acres currently enrolled. The SFI principles and objectives revolve around the interaction between loggers and private woodland owners to encourage reforestation, Best Management Practices, protection of endangered and threatened species, and improvement in appearance of harvesting operations, particularly in highly visible areas.  Participation in the SFI program is a commitment toward continuous improvement of sustainable forest management.

However, with the sizeable participation in the SFI program, the issue of credibility has brought about a need to build confidence by including outside observers and increasing the multi-stakeholder involvement in the program.  In response to this demand, a verification process has been developed and a monitoring project designed to collect data to determine actual on-the-ground performance. In addition, the multi-stakeholder Sustainable Forestry Board (SFB) has been established to manage the standard, verification process, and compliance.  Clearly, the SFI program has made tremendous progress in sustainable forest management the first five years of existence and will continue to do so as all stakeholders work together to tackle the new challenges.

Workshop VI: Monitoring Forest Management

Online presentation

oak leaf cluster, logo of Sustaining Southern Forests

    John M. Pye
a conference sponsored by the Southern Forest Resource Assessment