The Missouri Department of Conservation recently announced 653,428 acres of state land have been certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative 2015-19 Forest Management Standard.
"Certification to SFI considers all aspects of our forest management process — from our actions taken in the woods to the paperwork we keep in our files," MDC State Forester Lisa Allen said in a news release. "We are extremely proud to achieve this certification, which means we have outside validation that we are properly managing our forest resources to assure their health and sustainability."
SFI's 2015-19 Forest Management Standard is based on principles, goals and performance measures developed nationally by professional foresters, conservationists and others with the intention of promoting sustainable forest management in North America, according to MDC's news release. SFI and its many partners work together to balance environmental, economic and social objectives such as conservation of wildlife habitat and biodiversity, harvesting forest products, protecting water quality, providing forest industry jobs and developing recreational opportunities.
"The Missouri Department of Conservation joins other progressive organizations that are demonstrating their leadership and transparency by certifying their lands to the SFI Forest Management Standard," said Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of SFI Inc. "It is especially important to differentiate the responsible actors who are managing forests to maintain conservation values, sustain communities, and support responsible supply chains given that forest products are traded internationally."
As part of its certification, MDC will be required to undergo annual surveillance audits as well as full certification to the SFI Forest Management Standard every five years. The audits are conducted by an independent, accredited third-party certification body, and audit summaries are posted on the SFI website at sfiprogram.org/forest_certification_audits_reports.cfm.