West Virginia SFI Program

What is the Sustainable Forestry Initiative?

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative is a commitment to sustainable forest management protecting water quality, soil, wildlife and unique resources; promoting human health and safety; providing employee training and education; and communicating the benefits of the practice of sustainable forestry to the general public.  The SFI Program is based on the premise that responsible environmental behavior and sound business decisions can coexist to the benefit of communities, landowners, manufactures, shareholders, customers and the environment, today and for future generations.

Principles of Sustainable Forestry

  • Sustainable Forestry – To Practice sustainable forestry to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs by practicing and land stewardship ethic that integrates reforestation and the managing, growing, nurturing and harvesting of trees for useful products and ecosystem services such as the conservation of soil, air and water quality, carbon, biological diversity, wildlife and aquatic habitats, recreation, and aesthetics.
  • Forest Productivity and Health – To provide for regeneration after harvest and maintain the productive capacity of the forest land base, and to protect and maintain long-term forest and soil productivity.  in addition, to protect forests from economically or environmentally undesirable levels of wildfire, pests, diseases, invasive exotic plants and animals and other damaging agents and thus maintain and improve long-term forest health and productivity.
  • Protection of Water Resources – To protect water bodies and riparian zones, and to conform with best management practices to protect water quality.
  • Protection of Biological Diversity – To manage forest in ways that protect and promote biological diversity, including animal and plant species, wildlife habitats, and ecological or natural community types.
  • Aesthetics and Recreation – To manage the visual impacts of forest operations, and to provide recreational opportunities for the public.
  • Protection of Special Sites – To manage forests and lands of special significance (ecologically, geologically or culturally important) in a manner that protects their integrity and takes into account their unique qualities.
  • Responsible Fiber Sourcing Practices in North America – To use and promote among other forest landowners sustainable forestry practices that are both scientifically credible and economically, environmentally and socially responsible.
  • Avoidance of Controversial Sources including Illegal Logging in Offshore Fiber Sourcing – To avoid wood fiber from illegally logged forests when procuring fiber outside of North America, and to avoid sourcing fiber from countries without effective social laws.
  • Legal Compliance – To comply with applicable federal, provincial, state, and local forestry and related environmental laws, statutes, and regulations.
  • Research – To support advances in sustainable forest management through forestry research, science and technology.
  • Training and Education – To improve the practice of sustainable forestry through training and education programs.
  • Public Involvement – To broaden the practice of sustainable forestry on public lands through  community involvement.
  • Transparency – To Broaden the understanding of forest certification to the SFI 2010-2014 Standard by documenting certification audits and making the findings publicly available.
  • Continual Improvement – To continually improve the practice of forest management, and to monitor, measure and report performance in achieving the commitment to sustainable forestry.

SFI Governance and Stakeholder Involvement

The SFI Program is operated by SFI, Inc., a fully independent non-profit charitable 501(c)(3) organization.  SFI Inc. is governed by an 18-member board of directors made up of three chambers with equal membership: environmental, social and economic.  The diversity of the board members reflects the variety of interests in the forestry community.  This multi-stakeholder board of directors is the sole governing body over all aspects of the SFI Program.

The SFI External Review Panel

Comprising environmental, conservation and forestry experts, annually reviews the program’s progress, and releases a report publicly.  In 1997, the panel adopted an independent charter under which it selects its own members and develops its own agenda to represent the public interest as an outside observer of the SFI program.

SFI Implementation Committees

Thirty-seven SFI Implementation committees across North America operate at the regional, state and provincial level to help promote the SFI Standard through targeted local forestry associations, landowners, loggers, partnerships with conservation groups, and other community-based organizations.  As part of the SFI program, SFI Implementation Committees promote forester and logger training programs to reach the thousands of independent contractors that are the key to the quality of forest management and harvesting operations.

Public Involvement

Public involvement, communication and public reporting in the SFI program is welcomed.  Program Participants are required to support and promote mechanisms for public outreach, education and involvement related to forest management.  In addition, on public lands, Program Participants are required to participate in public land planning and management processes with appropriate governments and the public.  On these public lands, Program Participants are required to confer withes affected indigenous peoples.  The SFI program requires and SFI Certified Program Participant to provide a report prepared by the certification body to SFI Inc. after the successful completion of a certification, recertification or surveillance audit to the SFI Standard.  The reports are publicly available on the SFI Inc. website (www.sfiprogram.org)

Say 'Yes' to SFI Means

  • Commit to purchasing SFI labeled paper and wood products.
  • Include the SFI Program and its standard in your procurement policy.
  • Join the effort to tell others about the SFI Program.

The Importance of West Virginia Forests

  • West Virginia’s forests provide over 30,000 jobs.
  • West Virginia ranks third in the nation in the percentage of forested land.
  • Private forest landowners own the majority of forest land in West Virginia.
  • West Virginia’s forests are at least 94% hardwood species.
  • West Virginia’s forests re-grow naturally after harvesting from seeds, stumps and roots.
  • West Virginia’s forests provide homes for numerous wildlife species, songbirds and aquatic creatures.
  • The forest industry is the only natural resource industry that extends into every county in West Virginia.

West Virginia's SFI Program Participants In Action

  • Domtar Paper Co., LLC – Strives for leadership in forest management by adhering to and promoting sustainable forest principles and aims to be the preferred supplier of environmentally sound products.  www.domtar.com

  • Glatfelter – Glatfelter encourages sustainable forest management through a variety of educational programs for forest landowners and logging professionalswww.glatfelter.com

  • WestRock – We’re a leading global packaging company focused on customers, innovation and operational excellence. WestRock aspires to be the premier partner and unrivaled provider of paper and packaging solutions in global consumer and corrugated markets. Our 43,000 team members support customers around the world with about 275 operating and business locations in 30 countries spanning North America, South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
    www.WestRock.com

  • Verso – Foresters Assist with the development and distribution of educational programs and materials for landowners, loggers, and schools.
    .  www.versoco.com

  • Summit Bechtel Reserve–BSA – The Summit encourages participates to grow in competence confidence and awareness by providing experiences that require participants to move out of their comfort zone and “stretch” themselves. The Summit uses action and adventure sports to help each individual find their personal “stretch” zone.
    .  www.SummitBSA.org

  • Weyerhaeuser – Third party certified ISO 14001 EMS SFI Program and a primary sponsor of the West Virginia Envirothon. www.weyerhaeuser.com

We Want To Hear From You

The SFI member companies have made a commitment to integrate public concerns and expectations into the way they manage their lands. These concerns must be addressed while respecting the rights of the more than 250,000 forest landowners in West Virginia. A toll-free number has been made available to respond to questions concerning practices that appear to be inconsistent with the SFI Program guidelines. If you have comments or concerns about specific forestry activities, please contact us.

SFI INCONSISTENT PRACTICES REPORTING – CALL 888-372-9663
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