More Than a Half-Million Acres of Indiana Forests Certified

More Than a Half-Million Acres of Indiana Forests Certified

Scientific Certification Systems has certified 528,332 acres of Indiana woodlands to Forest Stewardship Council standards, SCS said today.

SCS, a certifying body for the Forest Stewardship Council, awarded the FSC-endorsed forest management certification to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, which managed the group certification for forests belonging to 7,800 landowners.

Almost 20 percent of Indiana is forestland, 84 percent of it privately owned. The vast acreage certified by SCS, which includes almost 10,000 acres of high conservation value forests, accounts for slightly more than 11 percent of the 4.7 million acres of forests in the state.

The certification is expected to support more than 6,000 jobs in Indiana.

{related_content}"This certificate provides assurance for the people of Indiana that the state’s forest resources are managed responsibly and will be protected for future Hoosiers," Indiana State Forester John Seifert said in a prepared statement. "And because each 1,000 acres of timberland in Indiana directly supports 12 forest-based manufacturing jobs, certification ensures those jobs will enhance the green economy for years to come."

In addition to receiving forest management certification, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources attained the first state-administered group chain of custody certificate. It covers 39 small sawmills and logging businesses that process wood harvested from certified forests.

The forest management certification attests that forests were managed according to the FSC standards for environmental and social responsibility. The chain of custody certification confirms that the companies earning it have the proper controls and processes in place to handle wood from certified forests. The firms are then able to market and sell their products as being FSC certified.

SCS Senior Vice President Robert Hrubes praised the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for pursuing the giant certification and called it "an outstanding move toward local economic development."

"Green building continues to be a bright spot in a troubled construction industry," Hrubes said in his company's announcement. "Responsible forestry supports jobs in the forest and beyond, including foresters, loggers, sawmills, craftspeople, builders and more."

Image CC licensed by Flickr user jessicareeder.