In 2005, the State of Minnesota became the largest public land manager in the United States to certify its lands under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. All forest land managed by the Department of Natural Resources and owned by private forest industry companies, as well as forest land in an ever-growing number of counties, is certified. For more information, visit www.aboutsfi.org.
Why Certified Sustainable Forestry Is Good For Minnesota
While no one place in Minnesota is called the Certified Forest, there are actually more than 7 million acres of forestlands in the state that have now been independently certified as sustainable. And that’s good news for Minnesota. This formal certification means that our state forestlands are being carefully managed to balance the perpetual growing and harvesting of trees with the long-term protection of wildlife, plants, soil and water quality.
Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Minnesota’s commitment is demonstrated by its leadership in the national Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), a comprehensive system of objectives and performance measures that guides the responsible management of our forests. Minnesota is the only state to twice earn the State SFI Implementation Committee of the Year Award.
Minnesota Logger Education Program Sets The Standard For Professionalism
A great deal of the SFI implementation comes from members of the Minnesota Logger Education Program (MLEP), which was initiated in 1995 to provide responsive professional assistance to Minnesota’s logging community. Today, more than 90 percent of Minnesota’s annual timber harvest is conducted by more than 400 logging businesses that participate in MLEP, helping ensure our forests are expertly managed.
MLEP’s Minnesota Master Logger Certification Program provides added confidence to customers and the public that the person performing a harvest is well-trained and experienced, because the program is an independent, third-party audit of a logging business’s harvest, safety and business practices. Only those logging businesses who meet the high standard required for certification achieve the status of Minnesota Certified Master Logger.
As more people and companies demand that their forest products come from sustainably managed forests, Minnesota will remain a national leader in proving that maintaining a viable forest products industry and doing the right thing by the environment complement
The certification is not a one-time measurement. Minnesota’s forests will continue to be judged against the program’s strict and comprehensive standards. Simply stated, Minnesota will have just as many trees, if not more, for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.