Tuesday, January 20, 2015

PA SFI Training Records Now Available Online!

Current training records for participants in the Pennsylvania SFI Professional Timber Harvester Training Program are now available to search on the PA SIC website. Course records and training status information are available and can be searched by name (first or last), logger ID#, City, PA County, and State.

This new online database replaces the cardholder lists that have been published on the website for the past several years. The goal of this new feature is to give training participants greater access to their records in order help keep their training current. It will also allow SFI certified companies, landowners, and others that require the use of trained loggers to more easily check the status of their timber harvesters/suppliers. An unofficial training record summary can be printed for any individual in the database. Official training records are available by contacting the PA SFI Implementation Committee (SIC) office.

The search feature can be accessed from www.sfiofpa.org/search or by clicking on the "Loggers" menu at the top of the homepage and selecting "Search for Loggers." Questions or comments about the functionality of the database or individual training records should be directed to the PA SIC office. Participants that do not wish to have their records published online must contact the PA SIC office.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Pennsylvania SFI® Implementation Committee Celebrates 20th Anniversary in 2015

Chuck Coup, Pennsylvania SIC Program Manager

In October 1994, the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) announced a landmark program for its membership - the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®). The announcement came during a period of rising national concern and animosity over industrial forestry practices. Across the country, the forest products industry found itself losing ground with public sentiment and spent much of the previous decade on the defensive - fighting major lawsuits, public hearings, work stoppages, and boisterous demonstrations that sometimes turned violent. In Pennsylvania, new research was beginning to raise concerns that sound silvicultural practices were lacking throughout the state. Not everyone agreed that things were so bad, but the tide was turning and something needed to be done.

The announcement by AF&PA was timely. With a goal to enhance the environment and improve public confidence by visibly changing the practice of forestry on industrial and other private forest lands, AF&PA members, who represented the majority of wood manufacturing and industrial timberlands throughout the country, were committing to a program of self-regulation and continuous improvement. In 1995, AF&PA officially rolled out the Sustainable Forestry Principles and Implementation Guidelines which were to become the foundation of the SFI program, and compliance became a condition of continued membership. To prove the SFI program was more than just a public relations gimmick, as some claimed, in 1996, during a period of significant downsizing (The AF&PA budget had been cut by nearly a third in the previous two years), the association suspended the membership of 17 noncompliant companies.

SFI® Works to Ensure the Health and Future of Our Forests with the Launch of the New SFI 2015-2019 Standards and Rules

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The decisions we make every day directly affect the health and future of our forests. The launch of the new Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) 2015-2019 Standards and Rules marks an important advancement to support better decision making all along the supply chain and to promote sustainable forest management. When a Fortune 500 company sources forest products, a landowner makes a forest management plan or a consumer buys copy paper, they can all make the right choice for our forests by choosing SFI.

"The future of our forests depends on credible, transparent and auditable standards to enable sustainable resource use for today and generations to come. Our work starts with the SFI standards, but SFI is so much more - it's a community that stands together for the health and future of forests," said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc. "SFI plays a central role in strengthening the vital link between healthy forests, responsible purchasing and sustainable communities."