State parks, other DNR lands receive forest certification recognition

Madison – One million acres of state-owned land have received
recognition as being sustainably managed by both the Forest
Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative
(SFI), bringing the number of certified state lands to 1.5 million
acres, a threefold increase.

“Under Governor Doyle’s Grow Wisconsin initiative the DNR has
worked to secure forest certification for the state’s land
management programs,” said Department of Natural Resources
Secretary Matt Frank. “Wisconsin’s leadership in attaining
certification not only advances responsible forestry but also
assures Wisconsin’s timber industry is strategically positioned to
compete internationally.”

The certification adds state parks, wildlife areas, and natural
areas to the 10 state forests that were first endorsed in 2003.

Efforts by Wisconsin and other Great Lake States are helping
establish the region as a forest certification economic hub; 5.7
million acres of Wisconsin’s 15.7 million acres of forestland are
now certified and include forests managed by Menominee Tribal
Enterprises and the Wisconsin County Forest Program.

The certification was awarded after an audit performed by
independent third-party partners, Scientific Certification Systems
(SCS) and NSF International, determined that the state’s forest
management practices met requirements for both the FSC and SFI
label.

Forest certification helps Wisconsin remain competitive in
global markets that increasingly demand certified raw materials.
Paper companies, lumber mills, publishers, building contractors,
and other manufacturers are expanding use of certified wood to
assure customers that their products are sourced from responsibly
managed forests. In Wisconsin, more than 1,850 wood-using companies
produce nearly $20 billion worth of forest products every year, and
more than 300,000 Wisconsin jobs rely on the forest products
industry.

Management of multi-use lands involves balancing the goals of
conserving forestland, supporting economic activities, protecting
wildlife habitat, and providing recreational opportunities.

Timber production and forest-related recreation together
contribute $29.7 billion annually to the state’s overall economy.
The DNR Land and Forestry Divisions jointly manage 1.5 million
acres of state-owned land and provide guidance to other public and
private landowners.

More than 2 million acres of privately owned forests enrolled in
the state’s Managed Forest Law also have received
certification.

“We congratulate Governor Doyle and the Department of Natural
Resources for expanding their certified lands,” said Robert Hrubes,
SCS senior vice president. “Conformance with the rigorous Forest
Stewardship Council standard assures the public that the Wisconsin
DNR continues to practice exemplary forest management.”

The Forest Stewardship Council is a nonprofit organization
devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world’s
forests. Scientific Certification Systems is a third-party
certification and assessment body that in 1991 established one of
the world’s first independent certification programs to recognize
responsible forest management practices. NSF International NSF and
SCS partner on dual Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable
Forest Initiative certifications in North America.

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