Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Joint Conservation Committee Hears Presentation From PA Sustainable Forest Initiative

The PA Sustainable Forestry Initiative provided an overview of its education and training programs to the Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee on Monday.
Chuck Coup, Program Manager for the PA SFI, said his group “promotes sustainable forest management and provides consumer confidence in the marketplace.”
Five companies in Pennsylvania  hold Forest Management Certificates covering 130,562 acres forest land in the Commonwealth, Coup said.  He also reported there are 26 companies in Pennsylvania holding Certified Sourcing  Certificates and 51 companies holding chain of custody certificates.
The  Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee was established in 1995 and is housed as an independent subcommittee of the PA Forest Products Association.
Coup said, “The Pennsylvania SIC works to strengthen sustainability in the forest products supply chain,” and accomplished its mission through—
— Helping the forest products industry support sustainable forestry by promoting the SFI standard in Pennsylvania and supporting the certified SFI program participants operating in the Commonwealth.
— Providing forest landowners the information they need to enhance their ability to make good management decisions and engage the public with the message of sustainable forestry.
— Educating loggers about safe and productive practices as well as being good forest stewards through training programs.
The PA SIC also has close ties with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Game Commission which both have active logging operations.
He noted, “onsite crew leaders for all logging crews working on DCNR Bureau of Forestry sites must be trained under the PA Sustainable Forestry initiative.  
“The Pennsylvania Game Commission recommends that logging crews working on State Game Lands be trained in safe logging techniques and sound environmental practices through a formal training program such as the one provided by the Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative or other similar course,” Coup explained.
“Representing a region whose economy is reliant on the forest products industry, I can personally attest to the important work done by SFI here in our Commonwealth,” said Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango), Chair of the Committee.  “From training and certifying loggers to educating landowners on the latest forest management techniques, Pennsylvania SFI has been integral to the continued health and productivity of our state’s valuable forest lands.”
A copy of Coup’s presentation is available online.
For more information, visit the PA Sustainable Forestry Initiative website.
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Sustainable Forestry Initiative Community, Conservation Partnership Grants Due

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