Forest Certification


Certification is a voluntary process to manage lands and promote sustainability through consistent principles, criteria, and objectives. Certification provides an independent third party validation that the forest resources are being managed in accordance with policies and procedures that ensure environmental, social, and economic benefits for all. By using the Sustainable Forestry Initiative ® (SFI) process, MDC’s resource management practices will:

  • Ensure that forests provide sustained wood, fiber, and biomass
  • Encourage public and community involvement in forest management activities
  • Promote science and research to improve forestry practices
  • Protect important forest values such as water quality and wildlife habitat
  • Protect lands with ecological, geological, historical, and/or cultural significance
  • Support activities that promote the conservation of biodiversity, such as maintaining natural areas
  • Promote the practice of responsible forestry through training and outreach

Certification does more than just ensure that trees are grown and harvested sustainably. It takes into account endangered species, water quality, recreation, and many other benefits that come from Missouri woods. The department has always been committed to sustainable management and SFI® provides a nationally recognized standard from one of the largest certification programs in the world. This standard is consistent with many of the practices MDC already follows.

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
people in the woods

Consumers can do their part as well. When you buy paper, or 2x4s, or other wood products, look for the SFI logo. This ensures the product you are buying came from a certified source and by buying it, you are supporting a sustainable industry.

Landowners can also participate in certification through the American Tree Farm System. Tree Farm offers similar standards and a program for landowners that own more than 10 acres of woods and follow an approved management plan. With 83 percent of Missouri woods owned by family forest landowners, private landowners are the source for most harvested wood products. It is critical that more landowners get involved in sustainable forestry.

To learn more about forest management in Missouri, please refer to Missouri Forest Management Guidelines. Published in 2014, this reference provides science-based guidance to help professional foresters, private land managers, and forest landowners improve and sustain Missouri’s forests. Numerous illustrated examples show how forest best management practices work. These guidelines were developed with input from five technical teams comprised of scientists and people working in the forestry profession. While voluntary, these guidelines also make readers aware of laws that can influence forest management in Missouri.

SFI Inconsistent Practices on MDC Forest Land Hotline

Forest and Woodland Association of Missouri (FWAM) serves as the clearinghouse for reports of SFI inconsistent practices on MDC forest land. FWAM has partnered with Forest ReLeaf of Missouri for reporting inconsistent practices. If you believe our forest management practices are not consistent with the SFI standards, please call 573-353-6436 to report your concerns.

Contact information

Marty Calvert
Forest Certification Manager