Thursday, June 29, 2017

SFI Unveils the 2017 Progress Report: Forests. A Way of Life

I am pleased to present you with the 2017 SFI Progress Report: Forests. A Way of Life.

At the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, we believe we all share a fundamental relationship with forests. Forests clean the air we breathe and the water we drink and provide life-sustaining values. As part of a global community committed to sustaining our forests, SFI is committed to ensuring that well-managed forests achieve their full potential to lift people up and improve our shared quality of life.

This progress report calendar shows how the important work of sustainable forest management is a year-round endeavor. It also illustrates how our well-managed forests provide conservation, community and economic benefits that improve the lives of millions of people. 

As in previous years, this story couldn't have been written without the hard work and dedication of the people in our SFI Implementation Committees. This grassroots network is making a difference across North America. Every day they help us live up to the idea of Forests. A way of life.

Thank you to everyone in the SFI community including our broader network of conservation, community, Indigenous peoples, government, business and other partners. Together, we are making a difference.

Kathy Abusow
President and CEO
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. 

To order copies of the report calendar for your colleagues, stakeholders and customers online at:

Monday, June 5, 2017

SFI Announcement on Project Learning Tree Program

It is with great pleasure that I am sharing news about a big development in the SFI program. Pending final arrangement of legal and administrative details, the Project Learning Tree program will be transferred from the American Forest Foundation (AFF) to SFI Inc. this summer.

Project Learning Tree (PLT) is a highly regarded program to advance environmental education through the lens of sustainable forestry geared to educators who teach PreKindergarten through to Grade 12 students. SFI Inc. has long been a supporter of the PLT program and for many years has enthusiastically provided support to PLT directly and through our SFI Implementation Committees (SICs).

As you know, SFI is a sustainability organization that is dedicated to the future of our forests, which includes educating the next generation to care about environmental issues and the responsible management of resources. SFI’s community engagement is carried out in many ways, including through our SICs, through our Community Partnerships grant program, and through direct support of community and education groups such as PLT, Habitat for Humanity, Boy Scouts of America, and others. A key component of SFI’s community engagement is educating youth, to ensure they can be effective future leaders and have a strong understanding of the value of responsibly managed forests. Bringing the PLT program into the SFI program offers an exciting opportunity to strengthen SFI’s youth education mission and to deliver future success of the PLT program.

The AFF Board voted unanimously on May 30 to approve the transfer of the PLT program from AFF to SFI. The program transfer will be accompanied by funding from AFF to ensure financial support for five years, to offset the annual program deficit. SFI will also initiate a fundraising program to ensure the success of the program beyond those five years.

The SFI Board has approved this transfer, pending final arrangement of legal and administrative details, which are expected to be finalized in July.

SFI plans to maintain the incredibly strong PLT state network and staff. The SICs and many of our partners (state agencies, universities, and others) have been a key part of the PLT state network, and we look forward to working with all of you to identify opportunities to build on those existing connections and partnerships and to pursue new opportunities. The SICs will be an asset in supporting and engaging the PLT network.

SFI’s vision for PLT is to not only maintain its current success but grow it through the existing network of PLT supporters and the leveraging of SFI’s network. This considerable network can elevate PLT’s relevance as a critical element of teaching and creating sustainability across North America’s forests. PLT and SFI are two organizations with many shared partners, but each organization can be stronger through a sharing and leveraging of these partnerships.

During the next few months, SFI will endeavor to learn more about what makes PLT strong and what opportunities might be pursued in the future to ensure PLT’s continued success.

We will keep you posted as this transfer becomes official. In the meantime, please visit If you have questions or want to share your thoughts, please reach out to me or our COO, Nadine Block (, 202-596-3456).

Best regards,


Kathy Abusow
President & CEO
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.
Tel: 613-722-8734

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Members Learn, Explore and Compete at 4-H Wildlife and Forestry Field Day

The 2017 4-H Wildlife and Forestry Field Day, held at Rock Springs, PA on April 22, was another “wild” success! 4-H youth and adults from across the state explored the wildlife and forestry sciences. The event featured an Exploratory Track for younger 4-H youth and a Science Track for teens. The theme for the Exploratory Track presented tools and methods for wildlife and forestry research, while the Science Track focused on applying research knowledge to managing forests and wildlife.

The event also included a competitive knowledge and skills test for teens hoping to attend national 4-H competitive events in wildlife and forestry. The top five winners in wildlife science were: 1st Place - Ella Miller (Tioga County), 2nd Place - Hilary Fernandes (Tioga County), 3rd Place - Tony Bertolino (Indiana County),and tied for 4th Place were Carter Wynn (Juniata County) and Reagan Lynch (Somerset County). These top-scoring individuals now have the opportunity to represent Pennsylvania at the 2017 National Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Contest to be held July 30-August 2 in Eatonton, GA. Participants in both the state and national programs must demonstrate their knowledge in habitat evaluation, wildlife identification, wildlife management practices, and applied wildlife science principles.

The top four winners in forestry science were: 1st Place - Cody Lynch (Somerset County), 2nd Place - Grace Stewart (Dauphin County), 3rd Place - Garin Hoy (Huntingdon County), and 4th Place - Cory Campbell (Indiana County). The National 4-H Forestry Invitational will be held July 30-August 3 at Jackson’s Mill 4-H Conference Center in Weston, WV. Participants in both the state and national programs must demonstrate their skills in tree measurement, tree identification, insect and disease identification, compass use, topographic map reading, and applied forestry principles.

Extension Specialist Sanford Smith, Penn State Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, and David Jackson, Penn State Extension Forestry Educator, organized this year’s event. Also assisting were Margaret Brittingham, Penn State professor of Wildlife Sciences; 4-H volunteer leader and professional forester, Ashlee Gulvas; and 14 undergraduate and graduate students from Penn State. The Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Implementation Committee and Pennsylvania Forest Products Association helped sponsor this event. For more information, contact Sanford Smith at or David Jackson at

Exploratory Track participants at the 2017 Wildlife and Forestry Field Day explored the theme of wildlife and forestry research methods by participating in numerous hands-on, kid-friendly stations. Photo by: Barb Sellers 

Youth in the Science Track of the 2017 Wildlife and Forestry Field Day learned to apply wildlife and forestry knowledge in on-site skills sessions. A sign language interpreter (center) assisted in explaining tree measuring technique. Photo by: Barb Sellers

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Pennsylvania SIC Winter 2017 Newsletter Available Online:

Winter 2017 Newsletter
  • Program Update
  • Pennsylvania SFI Qualified Logging Professional Promotional Materials
  • 2017 PA Forest Landowner Conference: Enriching Woodland Values
  • Logger Training...It's not just for loggers
  • Green Ribbon Task Force Makes Recommendations to Governor Wolf
  • 2017 Timber Show

2017 Spring Training Schedule

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Pennsylvania SIC Summer 2016 Newsletter

Now Available Online:

  • USGBC Announces New Pathway to Encourage Environmentally Responsible Forest Management in LEED
  • PA Approves Sales Tax Exclusion for Logging Equipment
  • New Logger Survey to be Conducted
  • Many Thanks!
  • Family Forest Owners are Key to Future of Penn’s Woods
  • 4-H Forestry Field Day
  • New PA Conservation Explorer

  •  2016 Fall Training Schedule 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

SFI Unveils the 2016 Progress Report: Linking Future Forests to Communities

The more we appreciate how forests touch each of our lives every day, the more we will make sustainable choices on their behalf. SFI is a non-profit that plays a central role in strengthening the vital links between sustainable forestry, responsible purchasing and thriving communities. 
We are committed to raising awareness that well-managed forests provide numerous benefits that help society at large. These forests store carbon, clean the air we breathe and the water we drink, provide habitat for many species and give us products and jobs - all of which improve our quality of life.

I'm proud to say that our supply chain starts in North America's forests and stretches around the world. Forest products certified to SFI are produced by workers often residing in small rural communities in the United States and Canada and are sold in more than 120 countries, which is why we value our relationship with PEFC.
Thank you to everyone in the SFI community. Together, we are making a difference.


Kathy Abusow
President and CEO
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. 

To order copies of the report calendar for your colleagues, stakeholders and customers online at: