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Forest Certification - What does it mean for you?

Forest Certification - What does it mean for you?. Certified Sustainable Forest Management Systems. The first step towards certified sustainable forest products Must conform to established principles and practices in forest management Third party certification and audit

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Forest Certification - What does it mean for you?

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  1. Forest Certification - What does it mean for you?

  2. Certified Sustainable Forest Management Systems • The first step towards certified sustainable forest products • Must conform to established principles and practices in forest management • Third party certification and audit • Intended to provide confirmation of sustainable, legal management of the forest and of the products coming from it.

  3. Third Party Certification • Goes beyond “I’m OK”, “We’re OK” to “They’re OK” – an independent audit procedure. • Underwriters Laboratories – the UL seal • USDA food safety certification - USDA grade A • American National Standards Institute – ANSI ISO certifications. • Standards are set and products/operations audited to assure compliance.

  4. Two Major Sectors: Forest Certification and Chain-of-Custody Certification • Forest certification deals with forest management systems, impacts on communities and people, and the primary forest products produced – land ownership based. • Chain-of-custody certification tracks certified forest products from the forest, through the manufacturing process, to the consumer – product ownership based.

  5. Some of the Certification Players • Forest Stewardship Council – FSC • Stated mission is to create a marketplace that promotes well-managed forests by ensuring forestry practices that are environmentally responsible, socially equitable, and economically viable. • > 60 Million acres in US

  6. Sustainable Forestry Initiative – SFI Stated Mission: The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program is based on the premise that responsible environmental behavior and sound business decisions can co-exist to the benefit of landowners, manufacturers, shareholders, customers, the people they serve, the environment, and future generations. 94.2 million acres in US – 2007

  7. American Tree Farm System – ATFS • 24 million acres of privately-held forest land • Operating in the United States since 1941 • Currently offers some group certification options • Now has certification under an international program for forest certification systems – PEFC – Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes

  8. Why Be Certified? • Independent confirmation that you use good management practices • Access to certified product markets • Opportunities for price premiums for some certified products • Access to other “Green Markets” • Public relations tool

  9. Building Green – a driving force behind some certified forest products markets • “Green” Construction Standards may specify or provide extra credit for using certified sustainable products from one or more certification systems: • LEED • Green Globes • Others

  10. Possible Downsides to Certification • Costs to obtain and maintain certification • Increased record keeping • May limit your flexibility in management • Someone will be looking over your shoulder • Uncertainty for the future of certification systems and markets – Who will be the top certifier? Will significant markets develop and last? Will price and market access offset costs?

  11. Certification for Small Landowners • Group Certification provides a lower, or in some cases, no cost option for certification of smaller ownerships • You become certified as a member of a group • Groups have a manager who assures compliance to the standard by members • Groups could be formed by: • Forest Mgmt company • Landowners association • SWCD or similar group

  12. Group Certification Opportunities • Indiana Classified Forest and Wildlands program is being used to create group certification opportunities for individual forest landowners in the program. • The program has ATFS group certification and is seeking FSC certification for eligible lands in the program. Voluntary. • Indiana Div of Forestry is covering the entry and annual costs of certification and will manage the group.

  13. Group Certification Opportunities • The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) program is now certified by the PEFC – Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes An independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization, founded in 1999 which promotes sustainably managed forests through independent third party certification. The largest forest certification system in the world.

  14. Tree Farm certification requirements • Management plan: The management plan requirements help streamline the process for Tree Farm owners to participate in USDA conservation incentive programs. The management plan requirements under the 2010-2015 Standards correlate with the US Forest Service guidelines for forest stewardship program forest management plans. Tree Farm management plans will address the following elements as appropriate: • landowner objectives • forest condition and health • management activities/ prescriptions • tract map • soils and water resources • wood and fiber production • threatened and endangered species, • high conservation value forests and other special sites • invasive species and integrated pest management

  15. Compliance with Laws • Reforestation and Afforestation • Air, Water, and Soil Protection – BMP’s, pesticide use • Fish, Wildlife and Biodiversity – T&E species • Protect Special Sites - unique historical, archeological, cultural, geological, biological or ecological characteristics. • Forest owner must monitor forest product harvests and other management activities to ensure they conform to the management plan objectives.

  16. Certified Acreage in the Region • Ohio is seeking FSC and SFI certification for state forests – 185,000 ac. • Indiana has FSC and SFI on state forests – 150,000. ATFS on C.F. – 460,000 ac.+ and seeking FSC for C.F. • Wisconsin has FSC and SFI on 2.9 MM acres of state and county forests. ATFS on 2 MM ac. private forest and seeking FSC. • Pennsylvania has 3.3 MM ac. state forest in FSC. • Michigan has 3.9 MM ac. in FSC and SFI

  17. Developments Influencing Forest Certification • Demand for certified products is trending up • Green Building legislation in many states – including IN, KY, OH • Pressure from consumers to be “Green” • Corporate desire to be seen as “Green” • Increasing specification for certified wood • THE BIG ? – is this a fad or is this a market trend? How much of the marketplace will it occupy? Increasing demand over 10 + years.

  18. Contacts for Forest Certification • Tree Farm: www.treefarmsystem.org or contact your local forester • PEFC: www.pefc.org/ • FSC: www.fscus.org • SFI: www.aboutsfi.org

  19. Your Friendly Local State Tree Farm Committee

  20. Unconventional Opportunities – they’re not for everyone, but work for some.

  21. Thank You! If you wish to contact me: Lenny Farlee, Extension Forester , Purdue University Dept of Forestry and Natural Resources lfarlee@purdue.edu 765-494-2153 Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center Charles Michler, Director Pfendler Hall, 715 W. State Street West Lafayette, IN 47907-2061 www.htirc.org

  22. Carbon Markets for Conservation • Carbon sequestration programs offer private landowners an opportunity to access $ for certain conservation practices • The Chicago Climate Exchange provides a market trading platform for sale and purchase of Carbon Offset Credits, while producing verifiable reductions in carbon emissions from members

  23. How the CCX works • Entities voluntarily agree to reduce carbon emissions through time • Part (but not all) of the reduction can be from purchased offsets • Practices that sequester carbon can be registered to sell accumulated carbon as verified offsets • Most landowners must work through an aggregator to sell their carbon on the CCX exchange

  24. Types of Carbon Offsets • Tree Planting – urban and afforestation • Grassland planting • No-till farming • Managed forest lands • Range mgmt • Methane capture

  25. Eligibility Afforestation- tree planting or natural regen. • Must have occurred since Jan. 1, 2003 on land previously non-forested or degraded for at least the previous 10 years. • Contract to maintain the project in forest for 15 years Managed Forest – NIPF land • Must be sustainably certified – SFI, FSC, or ATFS group certification • Inventoried to establish baseline carbon • Letter of intent to maintain certified sustainable management for 15 years

  26. What is Carbon Worth? • A metric ton of carbon (2200lbs) was worth $1.80 to $1.90 on 10/1/08 (CCX quote) • Some annual carbon sequestration values per acre: • Tree plantations – 1 to 3 tons • Managed forest – 1 to 3 tons • Grass plantings – 1 ton • Conservation tillage – 0.6 ton

  27. Who can help me sell my carbon? • Aggregators work with individuals to develop pools of carbon that can be sold • Delta Institute: www.deltacarbon.org 312 554-0900 • AgraGate: http://www.agragate.com/ 866 633-6758 • National Farmers Union: http://www.nfu.org 701-952-0116 • FORECON: http://www.foreconinc.com 616 874-9934

  28. The Fine Print • Some expected fees to deduct from your income off carbon- • CCX charges $0.20 per ton of carbon traded • Your aggregator will generally charge a commission on carbon sales – 10% is normal • Verification fees are generally shared by the members of the carbon pool being sold – your share will depend on the relative size of your practice in the carbon pool. • 20% holdback of annual carbon sequestration to cover potential losses – released at contract end

  29. Considerations in Selling Carbon • Agricultural, grassland planting, and afforestation carbon offset credits are relatively easy to access • Extra income for good land conservation • Managed Forest program is limited by sustainable certification requirements and cost of inventory – probably only feasible for larger forest holdings: 100+ acres? • Annual reporting is required – you may be audited to assure compliance

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