Friday, December 20, 2013

SFI Inc. 2013 Wrap-up

To the SFI Family,

What a remarkable year 2013 has been for the SFI community and for the future of our forests.

In 2013, we saw SFI's grassroots implementation committees work with youth such as Scouts and Girl Guides to advance their understanding and attachment to vibrant forests. SFI volunteers donated their time to Habitat for Humanity projects, which literally made dreams come true for several families. And we celebrated the great work of SFI Implementation Committees at the best-attended SFI Annual Conference (click here for an amazing youtube video). 

Our hearts were warmed and markets opened in 2013 as top influencers announced their recognition for SFI alongside other standards as a credible forest certification program - from the  World Business Council of Sustainable Development, The Sustainability Consortium,  GreenBlue, to UL Environment and NASF
We made huge gains helping customers meet their sustainability goals by significantly increasing forestlands certified to more than 240 million acres/100 million hectares.  The SFI community also advanced responsible forestry on uncertified lands through our fiber sourcing requirements, a true contribution to logger training, best management practices for water quality and landowner outreach.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Next Logging Generation? (PART I)

From Timber Harvesting & Wood Fiber Operations
Sept./Oct. 2013 edition

By Mark Turner

Note: This issue I’m handing off this space to Mark Turner, who, along with his brother, Greg, operates Turner Logging of Banks, Ore. Mark is an active leader with both the Associated Oregon Loggers and the American Loggers Council (ALC). Earlier this year he wrote the subjoined article—a spot on piece about the national logging situation—that was submitted to select industry media on behalf of ALC. I thought it had appeared in Timber Harvesting but when I received Mark’s follow-up article for this issue, I discovered it had not. So his first piece appears here, setting up the second (posted below). I encourage you to absorb both accounts. Well done, Mark, well done. —DK Knight

Recently, during an Associated Oregon Loggers (AOL) executive committee meeting, I learned there was a timber company executive who was very concerned about the looming shortage of logging contractors. He wanted to know what AOL could do to help set up training programs to address this problem.

The Next Logging Generation? (PART II)

From Timber Harvesting & Wood Fiber Operations
Sept./Oct. 2013 edition

By Mark Turner

In my previous article, I discussed how many of us got into logging and some of the challenges facing today’s loggers with respect to where the next generation of loggers is going to come from. It’s apparent that I’m not the only one concerned with the future of logging because I got a lot of feedback and comments from that first article. Obviously, this is a dialogue that we need to be having now and that we can’t afford to keep pushing it aside. In this article, I would like to explore some possible solutions to the looming shortage of loggers, but I must admit; however, describing the problems is much easier than trying to come up with solutions.

The American logging industry is a highly competitive business with both the producers (loggers) and the purchasers (mills and timber companies) having the same goal; get the highest production for the lowest cost. In order for companies to remain in business, they’ve had to find the most efficient ways to get production, usually a combination of new equipment, innovative techniques and trained crews. Although popular in other countries, government regulations, subsidies and artificial supports are not the path to future success in the American logging industry. We, the entire timber industry, need to come together to continue to be able to profitably compete in a global marketplace. Unfortunately, logging is the weak link in the timber supply chain.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Gabler Bill To Exempt Timber Ops From Pennsylvania Sales Tax Moves Forward

By AMANDA NICHOLS Era Reporter | The Bradford Era

Legislation which would amend the Tax Reform Code of 1971 to exclude timber companies from paying sales and use tax on items used directly in their operation, will go to the state House of Representatives on Wednesday for second consideration.

Earlier this year, state Rep. Matt Gabler, R-DuBois, reintroduced House Bill 1138, formerly House Bill 2546 of 2011, to extend a sales tax exclusion for timber harvesters which already exists for agriculture, manufacturing and even sawmills.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

FRA Industry News - NE Logging Capacity Deficit Noted

“The guys left in the woods are running old machinery,” comments a Maine wood buyer quoted in the October 17th Resource Information Systems Inc. (RISI) International Woodfiber Report. “And if we were all running our mills 100%, or there was a lot of bad weather over the next 12 months, there would be mill outages due to the infrastructure issues.” “Infrastructure issues” seems to refer to logging capacity. According to RISI, these concerns extend throughout New England and into New York and Pennsylvania, as well as New Brunswick. Apart from loggers’ capital shortage, RISI also notes an in-woods labor shortage—perhaps resulting from competition from the fracking fields, trucking, and construction—running up against the gradually growing mill demand, from new biomass facilities as well as sawmills.
Concern about attracting a new generation of workers to logging is growing in all regions. Recent initiatives of note:
  • The Comprehensive Harvester Operator Training Initiative in northern Maine, currently seeking funding from public and private sources, plans to combine regionwide logging career promotion with a robust entry-level training program;
  • The Forestry Workforce Alliance, in which FRA participates, seeks to organize a network to ensure both entry-level and employed forest-related workers have effective resources to gain and improve skills;
  • Alabama Green Industries, a state-level high school program, currently focused on arborists and landscapers, has shown interest in developing an entry-level logging workers curriculum;
  • The Forestry Equipment Operator Training Program, operated jointly by the North Carolina Association of Professional Loggers and the NC Community College System, with industry cooperators, covers in-woods and business management topics, has graduated its first class, and is seeking opportunities to expand.
Please inform your FRA Region Manager (or Neil Ward at FRA’s National Office) of any new and promising programs you are aware of to attract logging workers to the profession and to provide them with effective training and orientation.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

GSA Announcement Offers Path for SFI-Certified Wood in Federal Construction

Woodworking Network
By Nadine Block

Late on Friday, Oct. 25, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) issued a recommendation to the U.S. Department of Energy that federal agencies have the option to use either the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating tools or Green Building Initiative's Green Globes when choosing a third-party green building certification system.

Click here to read more >>>

Friday, October 18, 2013

Join the Forest Certification Movement to Meet Your Sustainability Goals

Triple Pundit
By: Kathy Abusow, President & CEO of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Most people treasure healthy forests and want to ensure that they are around for future generations. One of the best ways to do that is to promote responsible management of working forests through a powerful tool called forest certification: providing landowners with a rigorous, science-based standard of responsible forest management and verifying compliance through independent, third-party audits.

Since the mid-90s, the idea of forest certification has grown from a curiosity to the mainstream of North American conservation. Its value can be seen in hundreds of millions of acres of sustainably managed forests that support local communities while protecting wildlife habitat, clean water and soil, and other elements essential to our environment.

In North America, the key certification programs are the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI), the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and American Tree Farm System (ATFS). Overseas, forestlands are certified to the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification and various FSC standards for specific countries and regions.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pennsylvania SIC Summer 2013 Newsletter Available Online:
  • Timber Harvesters......Log On
  • PA Game Commission Proceeds with More Deliberate Approach to Bat Preservation
  • Ken Spaich Named AHUG Logger of the Year
  • Bill Moves to Address Sales Tax Inequities for Logging
  • Pennsylvania SIC Support
  • Training Card Reminders
  • Berks County Conservation District Offers E&S Fee Reduction to PA SFI Timber Harvesters
  • $23,700+ Raised for Log A Load Program in PA

  • 2013 Fall Training Schedule 

Monday, August 26, 2013

SFI and U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities Spur Collaboration Among Water Utilities and Forest Landowners to Protect Watersheds

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Experts acknowledge the important role of forestlands in protecting our nation's water quality. The U.S. Forest Service estimates that about two-thirds of our nation's freshwater resources originate in forests. Water utilities are increasingly taking responsibility for the health of local watersheds as the best way to ensure a long-term supply of clean water for the community. A new project managed by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment), and supported by a grant from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®), will engage forest landowners and water utilities to support innovative ways to promote watershed protection and maintenance on privately owned forest lands.

Logger Deaths Jump in 2012

  @CNNMoney August 23, 2013: 10:36 AM ET

The nation's loggers died on the job at an unexpectedly high rate in 2012.

There were 64 killed last year, according to an annual report released Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was 128 fatalities for every 100,000 workers employed, up 25% from 102 deaths in 2011. It was the first year since 2004 that the death rate for loggers led that of all other American workers.

"I'm quite surprised by that number because the industry is mechanizing at a rapid rate, which should bring down fatalities," said Eric Johnson, editor of The Northern Logger and a former logger.

The death rate for loggers has more than doubled since 2009. Logger fatalities surpassed the rate for fishermen, which is 117 deaths per 100,000 workers. And the rate is nearly 40 times higher than it is for the average U.S. worker -- 3.2 per 100,000.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Weyerhaeuser Leads North America in Sustainable Forestry

FEDERAL WAY, Wash., - With the completed acquisition of Longview Timber's approximately 645,000 acres of forestland in Washington state and Oregon in July, Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE: WY) now owns or manages approximately 20.5 million acres of forestland in the U.S. and Canada, making the company one of North America's and the world's largest private sustainable forestry operations.

"Weyerhaeuser is dedicated to industry leadership in forest stewardship and sustainability, and we will continue that leadership as we bring the recently acquired Longview Timber operations into our portfolio," said Tom Gideon, Weyerhaeuser's executive vice president of Timberlands. "All of Weyerhaeuser's North American forests will continue to be certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative™ standard, which ensures that our forest management practices meet a broad spectrum of social, economic and environmental requirements."

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pennsylvania Team Earns Top Honors at National 4-H Forestry Invitational

Pennsylvania placed first among 13 state teams that competed in the 34th annual National 4-H Forestry Invitational from Sunday, July 21, through Thursday, July 25. Teams from Alabama and New York placed second and third, respectively.

The invitational was held at West Virginia University Jackson’s Mill State 4-H Camp and Conference Center near Weston, West Virginia. The event is sponsored by Farm Credit System, The Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc., The Society of American Foresters, West Virginia University Extension Service, The American Forest Foundation, and the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals.

While at the Invitational 4-H members competed for overall team and individual awards in several categories. Events included tree identification, tree measurement, compass and pacing, insect and disease identification, topographic map use, forest evaluation, the forestry bowl and a written forestry exam.

Pennsylvania was represented by Jesse Isenberg from Indiana, Thomas Brady and Caleb Brady both from Clymer. The team was coached by Deborah Beisel from Clymer and Ashlee Early from Wellsboro. The team was co-sponsored by Pennsylvania SFI and the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association.

4-H is a youth education program operated by the Cooperative Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the state land grant universities. More than six million youth, 540,000 volunteers, and 3,500 professionals participate in 4-H nationwide, and nearly 100,000 are part of the 4-H Forestry Program.

For more information on the National 4-H Forestry Invitational, go to:

Contact:  David R. Jackson
               Penn State Cooperative Extension
               Willowbank Building, Room 322
               420 Holmes Ave.
               Bellefonte, PA 16823
               (814) 355-4897

Left to Right: Caleb Brady, Thomas Brady, Jesse Isenberg, Ashlee Early, Deborah Beisel (Coach), and Tom Brady

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sustainable Forestry Initiative Shows Gains in All Performance Indicators

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Inc. today reported significant growth across key performance indicators with the release of Writing the Next Chapter, SFI's 2013 Annual Progress Report.

Since 2007, forests certified to the SFI Standard® have grown by 100 million acres to 240 million acres today. Total chain-of-custody certified locations grew from 500 in 2007 to more than 2,500. Also, SFI received on-product label requests for more than 6,000 wood, paper and packaging products in 2012, up from only 50 for the entire year in 2007.

"While our Progress Report demonstrates growing momentum for responsible forestry, with indicators of success rising across the board, what's most exciting is our conservation and customer partnerships," said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI. "By working together, leading environmentalists, community advocates and SFI Program Participants are writing the next chapter to promote sustainable forestry, to improve forestry practices and to encourage responsible purchasing of forest products." 

2013 SFI Inc. Progress Report

On June 20, SFI issued their annual Progress Report. This year's report, Writing the Next Chapter highlights significant growth across key performance indicators.

Since 2007, forests certified to the SFI Standard have grown by 100 million acres to 240 million acres today. Total chain-of-custody certified locations grew from 500 in 2007 to more than 2,500 and SFI certified sourcing certificates have grown to 245 over the same period. Also, SFI received on-product label requests for more than 6,000 wood, paper and packaging products in 2012, up from only 50 for the entire year in 2007.
Look for the hardcopy in the mail later this month and order more copies here.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

SFI Inc. Begins Standard Revision Process

SFI Reaches out to 10,000 Stakeholders to Revise its Forestry Standard

WASHINGTON, D.C. and OTTAWA, ON - Today, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.® (SFI®) launched the process of revising its current standard to develop the SFI 2015-2019 Standard, reaching out to more than 10,000 stakeholders for input. Currently 240 million acres (100 million hectares) are third-party certified to the SFI 2010-2014 Standard on public and private lands.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

2013 Log A Load Fundraiser

The annual Log a Load for Kids continental pheasant shoot took place earlier this month at the Warriors Mark Wingshooting Lodge in Ginter, PA. Over $5,000 was raised for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in Pennsylvania.  PA SFI particiapted as one of the 18 sponsors of the event. The event was co-hosted by PFPA and the Pennsylvania Forestry Association.

Friday, March 8, 2013

And God Made A Logger...

By Jim Peterson, Co-Founder of The Evergreen Foundation
From the Forest Industry Network:

A note from Jim Petersen, co-founder of the Evergreen Foundation, February7, 2013: I wrote this last night, having been inspired by Chrysler Corporation’s Super Bowl advertisement featuring Paul Harvey’s famous “And God Made a Farmer” monologue. Its author is unknown.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pennsylvania SIC Winter 2013 Newsletter
Now Available Online:

  • PA SFI Continues to March On
  • DEP Again Confirms Success of Best Management Practices
  • 2012 A Banner Year for SFI Inc.
  • 2012 PA SFI® In Review
  • The "List"
  • Timber 2013 - June 7 & 8
  • Additional Training Opportunities Available 

  •  2013 Spring Training Schedule