Massachusetts on the cutting edge? duh...

Karl Davies karl at
Thu Oct 14 20:27:47 EST 1999

Joseph Zorzin wrote:

> The following message has traveled on the net from the far
> corners of the planet, until it reached me. It's all rather
> amazing. Amazing that the state would gladly accept a "green
> certificiation" award from the largest industrial timber
> harvesting association in the world- and brag about it.
> --------------------------------

Massachusetts DEM-BOF is well known for doing practically NO management
on the state forests.  AF&PA members are known for doing TOO MUCH
mismanagement, ie, clearcutting, on their forests.  So it's an odd
marriage.  What do they have in common?  A need to do PR perhaps?

> [From September 1999 Washington, D.C. Update newsletter of the
> National
> Association of State Foresters]
> Massachusetts State Forest Lands Get Licensed Under the SFI

There is no such thing as licensing under SFI.  See AF&PA's own web site
on this at

> The forested lands of the Massachusetts Department of
> Environmental
> Management Bureau of Forestry have become the first state forest
> lands in
> the country to be licensed under the American Forest & Paper
> Associations
> Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), the timber industry's
> version of
> green certification schemes that measure forest sustainability.

Again, there's no such thing as licensing under SFI, which is NOT a
certification program either.

> Warren Archey, State Forester of Massachusetts and Chief of the
> Bureau of
> Forestry, heralded the licensing program by stating, "The
> expansion of the
> Sustainable Forestry Initiative Program to include state lands
> management
> and administration is a welcome opportunity for state lands
> administrators.

I wonder if he read anything about SFI.

> As SFI focuses on policy and management practices, we in
> Massachusetts see
> a great opportunity to highlight many new initiatives such as:
> the
> development of enhanced Best Management Practices, old-growth
> forest
> preservation, municipal watershed protection, biodiversity and
> sustainable
> forestry."

Yup.  Basically an opportunity to do PR.  The BMPs aren't bad in MA, but
the old-growth preservation is happening DESPITE the DEM-BOF, not
because of it.  I have no idea what he's talking about regarding
municipal watershed protection; again, if good things are happening it's
despite the DEM-BOF, not because of them.  Biodiversity and sustainable
forestry?  Only if you consider them a result of rampant high-grading on
private lands, fully approved by the DEM-BOF.

> First developed for members of the timber trade association,
> AF&PA opened
> up their SFI program through a licensing program that has proven
> successful
> in recruiting forested lands outside of member ownership.


Whoever wrote this article didn't do his/her research on SFI.  IT'S NOT
A LICENSING PROGRAM.  It's basically a program where you agree to abide
by a lot of forestry platitudes, and without any oversight to determine
whether you actually follow through or not.

Hmmmm.  Here's an interesting bunch of platitudes from the SFI web site
which should apply to the DEM-BOF:

IV.  AF&PA Public Policy Goals for Sustainable
                        Forestry on all Private and Public Land in the
                                        United States

                    1.  Increase Forest Growth, Quality, Diversity and
                    Productivity by Practicing Sustainable Forestry.
                    members will support a national goal of sustainable
forestry which
                    seeks to increase growth and timber quality of all
forests, so that the
                    volume and quality of domestic timber resources
available are
                    adequate to meet public needs now and in the future.
To accomplish
                    this goal, AF&PA members will continue to: (a)
increase the
                    productivity of the forests they own and manage; (b)
encourage the
                    establishment of forests on marginal agricultural
lands that could
                    more profitably be managed for forestry; (c) work
with the Forest
                    Service and state agencies to strengthen growth,
productivity, and
                    timber quality monitoring programs; and (d) support
federal, state,
                    and local programs and policies that encourage
retention and
                    expansion of the productive forestland base and
promote long-term
                    forestry investment.

I wonder if all this means the DEM-BOF has agreed to 1) STOP ENCOURAGING
FORESTS.  I guess time will tell.

Karl Davies, Practicing Forester

Northeastern Forestry Reformation List Server

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