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:
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.
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.
Forest Certification Manager