SFI Vermont continues to promote the principle of sustainability as our private forest landowners manage for the future. The use of a third-party certification program develops confidence in buyers and consumers of forest products that these forestlands are well managed today and will be here for generations to come. SFI® is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting forest sustainability and supporting the links between sustainable forests and communities through carefully targeted research, direct leadership of critical initiatives, and partnerships that effectively contribute to multiple conservation objectives. Nationwide, Forests certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard cover more than 285 million acres. Millions more acres benefit from the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard. SFI’s Forest Management, Fiber Sourcing and Chain of Custody Standards work to ensure the health and future of forests. Through application of these certification standards, SFI’s on-product labels help consumers make responsible purchasing decisions. SFI Inc. is governed by an independent three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally. Learn more at sfiprogram.org.
Seeking Solutions in High Workers’ Compensation Costs
For the 20-year history of SFI, loggers’ education including safety has been a cornerstone of the certification standards. Trained loggers better understand their impacts on the land, environment, tree health and safety. With Workers’ Compensation (WC) cost spiraling out of control for Vermont logging contractors, we are now seeing more attention by Government Officials and Legislators. VFPA has had WC reform as a priority issue for its entire 40-year history. Deputy Commissioner Sam Lincoln has spearheaded the effort bringing industry leaders, educators, regulators and insurance carriers together to flush out ideas and practical solutions to address affordability. SFI Vermont is at the table to find what support we can provide to enhance Vermont’s premier Loggers Education to Advance Professionalism (LEAP) to do an even better job teaching loggers safety that regulators and insurance carriers will recognize and offer lower rates to trained loggers. Because SFI has been a driver of loggers training for certification, we can become a resource to assist and support these efforts.
SFI Launches 22nd Annual Progress Report
SFI has officially launched the 2017 Progress Report – Forests. A Way of Life.
The report is now available for download here: http://www.sfiprogram.org/files/pdf/2017-sfi-progress-report/ . This 18-month 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.
Project Learning Tree and Sustainable Forestry Initiative Join Forces to Expand Youth Environmental Education Programs
SFI and the American Forest Foundation (AFF) announced this past July that SFI has become the new home of Project Learning Tree (PLT). PLT is an award-winning environmental education program that uses trees and forests as windows on the world to increase youth understanding of the environment and actions they can take to conserve it. PLT’s integration into SFI provides an opportunity for the program to expand its reach and impact. And SFI’s role as a sustainability leader will be bolstered by PLT’s expertise in education, an increasing focus in SFI’s community engagement work.
In Vermont, PLT is housed in the Vermont Dept. of Forests, Parks and Recreation in Montpelier. Rebecca Roy is the Vermont PLT Coordinator. SFI VT met with Rebecca to learn about how she is integrating PLT curriculum into our schools and other educational venues such as preschools, daycares, summer camps and Boy and Girl Scouts.
In Vermont PLT uses the Vermont Tree Farm Board as an advisory Board with the leadership of the Vermont Woodlands Association. SFI VT has been invited to attend the meetings to learn what role SFI can play to be most supportive of PLT efforts.
2017 Boy Scouts National Jamboree
SFI Vermont works closely with others involved in the forestry sector, trade associations, educational institutions, safety program leaders, State and Federal Government Officials and lawmakers. SFI staff provided support for the 2017 Boy Scouts National Jamboree, held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia. The SFI display booth represented a stop on the “Conservation Trail”, providing an opportunity to highlight the use and meaning of the SFI label across a range of products. Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has consistently applied the label and used certified content in a range of BSA publications, and underscored its importance in the Sustainability Merit Badge handbook. Well over 1,000 scouts and leaders visited the SFI booth over the course of several days. The Summit Bechtel Reserve itself is among several properties totaling over 100,000 acres managed by BSA, and certified to the SFI Forest Management Standards. A highlight of the visit included presentation of a plaque of appreciation to SFI by leadership at BSA.
Bill Sayre, Chair, Vermont SFI
Ed Larson, Coordinator