Saturday, October 17, 2015

PA SIC Member Paul Lyskava presented with PFA Joseph T. Rothrock Award

Paul A. Lyskava was recognized as the Joseph T. Rothrock Conservationist of the Year at the Pennsylvania Forestry Association’s 129th Annual Meeting at Lancaster, PA on October 17, 2015. The award, a tribute and affirmation of the life and contributions of Dr. Rothrock, recognizes the recipient’s outstanding contributions to the conservation of the Commonwealth’s forest resource. The award citation specifically recognizes Paul’s contribution:

Paul Lyskava continues to be an articulate spokesman for the interests and role of forest industry in the stewardship of Penn’s Woods. Through knowledge based communication, he has earned the respect and confidence of the public, all segments of forestry, the governor’s office and the legislature. In the Rothrock tradition, Paul‘s ability to represent the industry and all forest landowners is very effective.

Paul became the Executive Director of the Hardwood Development Council (HDC) in 1998. Previous to that he had worked as a lobbyist for the Rural Electric Cooperative in Harrisburg. At HDC he provided the leadership to create the “Sustaining Penn’s Wood’s” curriculum for middle and high schools in Pennsylvania. He participated in trade shows in Mexico and Germany, as well as many domestic shows in Atlanta, Anaheim, and Philadelphia. He encouraged the Council to provide key leadership in helping Pennsylvania lumber suppliers to go to China and help PA lumber suppliers find new markets for their hardwood in China and the Pacific Rim nations. In April of 2002, he led the first Forest Stewardship Council-certified mission of PA hardwood suppliers to Great Britain along with the Secretary of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. He also was the primary contact for Pennsylvania to train pallet manufacturers on the new international regulations for heat treatment or fumigation of hardwood pallets in 2001. He continued as the Executive Director until August of 2002 when he became the Executive Director of the Hardwood Lumber Manufacturers Association (HLMA), which changed their name to the PA Forest Products Association (PFPA) in 2003.

Paul was instrumental in the development of the WoodMobile. He worked long hours developing the exhibit in time for the WoodMobile to be showcased at the 2002 Farm Show and continued to provide important guidance for the program as it grew into a portable museum and interactive educational showcase of Pennsylvania hardwoods by April of 2004. That relationship continued with Paul in his position with PFPA providing key leadership from industry in developing the WoodMobile through the years and he was responsible for the fundraising efforts from PFPA to create WoodMobile Two in 2014 with the grand opening at the 2015 Farm Show.

Paul led PFPA through the toughest economic times the industry has faced and managed to keep PFPA the influential organization that it has become. His ability to lobby for the industry as well as all forest landowners in Pennsylvania is unmatched. Most of the members of legislature as well as the governor and his cabinet know Paul and know that he is the “go to” person whenever there are issues concerning the industry and forest lands of Pennsylvania. Paul has been there to
intercept legislation that would have a detrimental affect not only on industry but forest landowners as well.

Within the Pennsylvania Forestry Association, he led the resurgence of the Log a Load pheasant shoot. Now the shoot is filled up long before the due date and he has gotten many others involved as sponsors of the event. He has also become an avid participant. He has been a supporter for the PFA Conservation Dinner for many years.

Paul has a true passion for what he does and spends a tremendous amount of time at it. He is a devoted husband and father to his wife Kathleen and son Sean. He and Sean enjoy riding bicycle and swimming together whenever possible.

Congratulations to Paul on behalf of the Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee Receives 17th Annual SFI Implementation Committee Achievement Award

The Pennsylvania SIC was honored today to receive the 17th annual SFI Implementation Committee Achievement Award at the SFI 2015 Annual Conference in Olympic Valley, California. The purpose of the award is to recognize SFI Implementation Committees (SICs) for outstanding work in implementing the SFI program, making a difference on-the-ground advancing sustainable forestry and promoting the benefits of forests and forest products certified to the SFI Standard.

The Pennsylvania SIC was selected for this award primarily for their work at adapting their Professional Timber Harvester Training program into an entry-level program for aspiring logging or forest industry workers and incorporating it into the curriculum of high school programs in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania SIC member Paul Lyskava accepted the award on behalf of the Committee. This is the second time the Pennsylvania Committee was presented with the annual SFI Implementation Committee Achievement Award, with the first the first occurring in 2001.

What an incredible recognition for an already outstanding (literally record breaking!) 20th anniversary year. We set a Guinness World Record for tree planting, and received recognition from the Pennsylvania legislature through resolutions (SR 144 & HR 375) declaring June 5 to be Pennsylvania SFI day across the Commonwealth. While we have taken time to look back and celebrate our success over the last two decades we also have used this important milestone as an opportunity to look ahead to the future of our program.

Without a doubt, that future includes the students enrolled in the Natural Resource Management Career and Technical Program at Central Mountain High School in Mill Hall, PA. The Pennsylvania SIC would like to thank everyone involved in our successful training partnership that formed the basis of this award and we look forward to forming new partnerships with other high school programs in the future. A special thanks to the Keystone Wood Products Association (KWPA) for their important financial support of this partnership.

October 7, 2015

Download a PDF Here

Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee Takes Logger Training
for Youth and Harvesting Professionals to New Heights

Olympic Valley, CA. - Gone are the days when children followed their fathers to work in the woods. These informal apprenticeships are a thing of the past because of today's safety considerations. So the Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Implementation Committee decided if they can't bring youth to the forest, they would bring the forest to youth.

"What are the risks to the supply chain, to our economy, to forests in general, if we don't secure a future generation to care for our forests and to harvest them responsibly?" said Kathy Abusow, SFI Inc. President and CEO. "The Pennsylvania Committee members are thought leaders when it comes to youth training."

For the second year in a row, students in the Natural Resource Management Career and Technical Program at Central Mountain High School in Mill Hall received the SFI Professional Timber Harvester Training credential. The training is provided through a partnership with the Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee that allows students in the program to complete it as part of their regular curriculum at no additional cost to them or the school.

"We hope that through this partnership more students will become interested in a career in the forest sector. By graduating with this training credential, these students come out ahead of the game as they enter the workforce. They already have the training that employers are looking for," said Chuck Coup, the SFI Implementation Committee's Program Manager.

The training is the same that loggers in Pennsylvania are required to complete to maintain their status as harvesting professionals recognized by SFI. The training program emphasizes safety, environmental conservation and professionalism. Students are taught requirements for timber harvesting safety, and methods of protecting the environment during timber harvesting operations, including best management practices for protecting water resources.

The Pennsylvania Committee has a history of expertise in logger training. More than 7,000 individuals have participated in the Pennsylvania SFI Professional Timber Harvester Training Program. About 700 participants maintain their current training status each year, and some loggers have completed more than 100 hours of training.

The benefits of the training program were further recognized and bolstered when the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry adopted a policy in 2007 that requires SFI-trained loggers to lead all commercial timber harvesting activities on Pennsylvania's 2.2 million acres (890,308 hectares) of state forestland.

And most recently, the SFI Committee convinced state lawmakers to unanimously designate June 5 officially as Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative Day. Both the House and Senate Resolutions specifically cite SFI logger training as a major reason for declaring SFI Day.

"This strong recognition from the state government is a fitting tribute to the 20-year history of progress and leadership on sustainability from the Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee. It also reminds us all of the critical role loggers play on the front lines when it comes to the stainability of habitats and ensuring critical steps are taken to protect things like water quality," Abusow said.

The Pennsylvania Committee was presented with the 17th annual SFI Implementation Committee Achievement Award at the SFI 2015 Annual Conference. 


About the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc. (SFI)
SFI® Inc. is an independent, nonprofit organization that is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized SFI program. SFI works collaboratively with conservation groups, local communities, youth, resource professionals, landowners and countless other organizations and individuals who share our passion for and commitment to healthy forests, responsible purchasing and sustainable communities. Since 2010, SFI has awarded 38 conservation and 28 community partnership grants totaling more than $1.9 million to foster education, research and pilot efforts to better inform future decisions about our forests. When leveraged with project partner contributions, that total investment exceeds $7.1 million. In addition, sustainable forestry is promoted through the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard and the SFI Chain-of-Custody Standard. SFI on-product labels help consumers make responsible purchasing decisions. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally. Learn more at and

Media Contacts:
Elizabeth Woodworth
Vice President, Communications & Community Engagement
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.
Tel: 202-596-3452