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.
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.