How are well-managed forests across North America, from Florida to British Columbia, contributing to a healthier, more sustainable world? The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) set out to quantify the answer to that question this year as they embarked upon the SFI Conservation Impact Project, which included the first full-scale meeting of the SFI Sounding Board in October. Conservationists, researchers, academics and government officials met to discuss how managed forests benefit water, biodiversity and climate change mitigation.
SFI-certified forestlands, which include a number of Eastern White Pine forests in the Northeast and across the country, help meet a range of conservation goals. These benefits aren’t always obvious to diverse stakeholders, and quantifying them with respect to credibility and transparency can help boost support and ensure their survival.
The SFI Forest Management Standard sets mandatory requirements for owners or managers of forest land, requiring broadened biodiversity protections, BMPs to protect water quality, trained harvesting professionals, forestry research, landowner outreach and avoidance of controversial sources. This has positively impacted millions of acres, even beyond those officially certified by SFI. Forestry as a whole is impacted by the implementation of these standards.
SFI utilizes a grassroots network of 1,000 people including private landowners, independent loggers, forestry professionals and local government agencies as well as scientists and conservationists to take part in implementing sustainable policies and practices.