NYDEC Wins SmartWood Certification

Karl Davies karl at daviesand.com
Mon Feb 14 18:44:13 EST 2000


It seems the first try at sending this press release got lost in the
ether.  For the original, go to
http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/press/pressrel/2000-07.html.
Congratulations, NYDEC!


For Release: Friday, January 21, 2000
Contact: Jennifer Meicht (518) 457-5400

New York's State Forest Lands
Win "Green" Certification

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
Commissioner John P. Cahill today announced that New York State has
become the first state in the country to receive National Wildlife
Federation (NWF)/SmartWood certification for all of its "multiple-use"
public forest lands that are managed for timber, wildlife, water quality
and recreation. More than 700,000 acres of State forest land outside the
Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserves were voluntarily certified as
"well-managed" for the long-term health of the forest by NWF/SmartWood.

"New York State has led the nation in supporting sustainable forestry
practices for more than a century and under Governor Pataki's leadership
the State is doing more than ever to promote sound forestry management
and ensure healthy forests for the future," Commissioner Cahill said.
"Forests are an important natural resource that cover 62 percent of the
state and this certification demonstrates how proper management can both
sustain our natural resources and help foster strong local economies."

To become certified on its State forest lands, DEC had to meet more than
75 rigorous criteria established by the Forest Stewardship Council that
verify forests are managed for long-term ecological, social, and
economic health. For example, forestry operations must show that they
protect streams and wetlands and conserve fragile or uncommon wildlife,
including endangered species. After the required evaluation process is
completed and certification is awarded, forest products from these lands
can be labeled as "certified," providing consumers information they need
to purchase wood products or lumber from well-managed forests.

"The timber and wood products industry is an important part of the
state's economy and SmartWood certification will give these businesses
another edge by letting consumers know that New York's forest products
are environmentally friendly," Cahill said.

NWF's President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Van Putten, said,
"NWF/SmartWood certified properties use common-sense management plans
that build economic and ecological balance and help keep forests healthy
for both people and wildlife. New York's forests support a $2 billion
wood products industry that employs more than 65,000 people, the same
people who return to join thousands of tourists to camp, hike, fish and
hunt in the State's beautiful forests."

DEC is actively involved in many public and private forestry efforts,
including the American Forest and Paper Association's Sustainable
Forestry Initiative, the American Forest Foundation's Tree Farm Program,
the New York State Logger Training Program and the State Forest Tax law
program. These varied initiatives, each with unique benefits and
approaches, all work to improve forest management practices, conserve
forests, protect natural resources and retain open space.

"The rigorous independent assessment that formed the basis of
NWF/Smartwood's certification process has helped our public land
management team improve the way we manage our magnificent forest
resources," said Frank Dunstan, director of DEC's Division of Lands and
Forests and the State Forester. "The Governor's recent commitment of
additional funds from the Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act and the
Environmental Protection Fund provides us with a tremendous opportunity
to further enhance our stewardship of State forest lands."

In addition to trees, New York's forests are home to hundreds of
wildlife species including peregrine falcons, bobcats, white-tailed
deer, black bear and increasingly, moose; along with fish species such
as rainbow and brook trout. State forests also provide the public with a
diversity of outdoor recreational opportunities, from wilderness-style
hiking, fishing, hunting and camping to bird watching, cross country
skiing, nature observation and education. State forests in many rural
areas comprise a critical part of the regional economy. The goal of
sustainable forestry is to ensure that New York's forests continue to
grow and provide these benefits to succeeding generations.

The Empire State is also home to Lyons Falls Pulp & Paper, which
produced the first certified printing paper in the country, and to Paul
Smith's College, the first U.S. academic institution to participate in
the voluntary NWF/SmartWood certification program for its lands.

"We are pleased that the State is moving ahead with a commitment to the
principles of the Forest Stewardship Council and obtaining certification
through SmartWood," Michael Virga, Environmental and Forestry Manager
for Lyons Falls Pulp and Paper, said. "Forest Stewardship Council status
for State lands will give us the opportunity to purchase certified
pulpwood in New York, which will lead to an improved market for our
certified paper products and a better market for the State's forest
products. This is more than an environmental issue - this is an economic
issue as well and will improve the business climate in upstate New
York."

Graham Cox, forest and wetland coordinator for the National Audubon
Society of New York, said, "The State DEC, as manager of so much of the
forest lands in New York, plays a key role in introducing and practicing
the concepts of sustainable forest management. The fact that DEC asked
for this rigorous FSC approved SmartWood certification and has agreed to
follow its recommendations, speaks volumes for the agency's leadership
and commitment."

SmartWood is the oldest, not-for-profit certifier in the country
accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). It was formed in
1989 by environmental advocates and forest products industry
representatives to establish sustainable forestry guidelines. SmartWood
works through a network of regional non-profits, including the NWF in
the Northeast. Through its Northeast Natural Resource Center, based in
Montpelier, Vermont, NWF has certified both landowners and companies
across the northeastern U.S., including more than 130,000 acres of
Northeast forest land. NWF/SmartWood hopes to certify 1 million acres in
the region by the end of 2000.

The National Wildlife Federation is the nation's largest
member-supported conservation advocacy and education group, uniting
people from all walks of life to protect nature, wildlife, and the world
we all share. The Federation has educated and inspired families to
uphold American's conservation tradition since 1936. Its common-sense
approach to environmental protection brings individuals, organizations,
and governments together to ensure a brighter future for people and
wildlife.

NWF Contact: Stacy Brown, (802) 229-0650
2000-07


--
Karl Davies, Practicing Forester
http://www.daviesand.com

Northeastern Forestry Reformation List Server
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