Are we in danger of losing our forestlands, and the wildlife that live in them?
How can we ensure the health and growth of our forests for future generations?
Many Americans are asking these questions, as our population expands and our economy
grows. The U.S. forest and paper industry has answered these questions with a bold
new commitment to long-term forestry. It's called the Sustainable Forestry Initiative
program (SFI ®), a comprehensive program of forestry and conservation practices
designed to ensure that future generations of Americans will have the same abundant
forests that we enjoy today.
In 1995, the Initiative was developed by the American Forest & Paper Association
(AF&PA), the national trade group that represents forest and paper companies.
With the SFI, AF&PA sets new goals of professionalism for the entire forest
industry, including those loggers contracting with them. American loggers have embraced
the sustainable forestry concepts. In Oregon, AOL initiated the Oregon Professional
Logger program that encourages professional growth and knowledge to advance forest
stewardship in timber harvesting.
Sustainable forestry means managing our forests to meet the needs of the present
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
We do this by practicing a land stewardship ethic which integrates the growing,
nurturing, and harvesting of trees for useful products, while keeping a watchful
eye on the conservation of soil, air and water quality, and wildlife and fish habitat,
as well as aesthetics.
Sustainable forestry is the destination. The Forest Principles and 12 Implementation
Guidelines are the path on which the forest products industry will get there.
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Principles:
The Forest Principles spell out five broad elements of sustainable forestry. They
- Meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations
to use the forest for products as well as for ecological and other uses.
- Promote both environmentally and economically responsible practices on all forestlands.
- Improve long-term forest health and productivity by protecting forests against wildfire,
pests, and disease. Manage forests of biological, geological, or historical significance
to protect their special qualities.
- Continuously improve forest management, and regularly track progress toward achieving
the goal of sustainable forestry.
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Guidelines:
The SFI's Implementation Guidelines translate these principles into action by providing
forest managers with a specific road map for the best way to achieve sustainable
forestry on private lands. In Oregon, this means forest managers are going beyond
the state's strict forest protection laws to voluntarily do more, by following these
guidelines to better care for the land:
- Broaden the practice of sustainable forestry
- Ensure prompt reforestation
- Protect water quality
- Enhance wildlife habitat
- Minimize the visual impact of harvesting
- Protect special sites
- Contribute to biodiversity
- Continue to improve wood utilization
- Continue the prudent use of forest chemicals to ensure forest health
- Foster the practice of sustainable forestry on all forestlands
- Publicly report progress
- Provide opportunities for public outreach
"The Sustainable Forestry Initiative will have terrific long-term payoffs for
improved forest conservation in the United States."
James W. Giltmier, Senior Fellow, Pinchot Institute