SFI Establishes Revised Guidelines for 2022

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative has issued the revised 2022 SFI Forest Management Standard.

West Virginia Forestry Association has worked with the SFI State Implementation Committee (SFI-SIC) since its inception. The major revisions that will impact the SFI-SIC are seen here. The SFI SIC has the primary responsibility for logger training and working with conservation groups and the community at the state level.

The SFI SIC participates in the West Virginia Logger Certification Program by providing all loggers with an awareness of the SFI Principles and Standards and to work with the West Virginia Division of Forestry that enables the WV Certified Logger requirements to also meet the revised SFI Certified Logger Standard, thus enabling loggers the opportunity to harvest on SFI certified lands in West Virginia.

The full revision impacts the entire certification process and more details can be found at www.forests.org.

Major Enhancements in the SFI Forest Management Standard Address Key Sustainability Challenges

Working together is critical to ensuring the sustainability of our planet. People and organizations are seeking solutions that go beyond limiting negative impacts to make positive contributions to the long-term health of the planet. Sustainable forests, and products sourced from those forests, are a great tool to move towards shared sustainability goals such as climate action, reduced waste, clean water, and economic development.

SFI standards, when leveraged with our three other pillars of work—conservation, community, and education—provide practical, scalable solutions for markets and communities working to pursue this growing commitment to a sustainable planet. When companies, consumers, educators, and community and sustainability leaders collaborate with SFI, they are making active, positive choices to achieve a sustainable future.

Through SFI standards, more forests are sustainably managed, which means more effort is put into conserving healthy wildlife, providing clean water, and making more sustainable wood, paper, and packaging products available for consumers and companies. Choosing SFI is a practical choice that helps combat climate change, conserve nature, and increase the number of products in the marketplace that have a positive impact on the planet.

SFI Standards are made up of objectives, performance measures and indicators. An objective is a fundamental goal an organization must achieve for sustainable forest management. The SFI Forest Management Standard has 17 objectives. The SFI Forest Management Standard covers a diversity of objectives which are highlighted below.

Major Enhancements in the SFI Forest Management Standard

Logger Training

Forest Management Standard–Objective 13

Loggers Play a Critical Role on the Ground Implementing the SFI Standards. Logger Training Has Been a Key Component of Sfi Since 1995

Loggers who are aware of their responsibility as professionals are better equipped to protect the environment, underscoring the importance of logger training as a core requirement in the SFI Forest Management Standard. By the end of 2019, 214,000 loggers and foresters had completed training programs approved by SFI Implementation Committees.

All requirements for logger training are in Objective 13. Performance Measure 13.2 is reorganized into two indicators, with Indicator 13.2.1 detailing the core training requirements needed to attain qualified logging professional status. Indicator 13.2.2 has the continuing education requirements needed to maintain qualified logging professional status. These enhancements add more structure to the qualified logging professional training requirements and raise the overall quality and impact of logger training.

The definition of “certified logging company” was updated to ensure the requirements for a certified logging company build on the already high level of training provided by qualified logging professional training programs. Specifically, key personnel are required to complete a SFI Implementation Committee approved qualified logging professional training program. Certified logging companies are required to hold independent, in-the-forest verification of conformance with a logger certification program.

Cooperative Efforts Involving SFI Implementation Committees

Using a cooperative approach where appropriate could result in efficiencies and consistency of application for the certified organizations. As such, the new Forest Management Standard stipulate several requirements that could be effectively addressed through cooperative efforts involving SFI Implementation Committees. Examples include working cooperatively to address conservation of biological diversity, climate-smart forestry, fire resilience and awareness, forest research, improvement in logger training, and outreach to landowners.