WASHINGTON, June 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The New York program of the National Audubon Society has received a Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) conservation grant to build a stronger link between bird conservation and forest management along the Atlantic Flyway.
"This SFI grant will help us develop a communications and outreach program for foresters, forest landowners and SFI-certified mills in New York State, and transfer our knowledge and methods to seven other states along the Atlantic Flyway," said Michael Burger, Director of Conservation and Science for Audubon New York. "Engaging private forest owners in sustainable forest management practices is key to the long term protection of many priority bird and other wildlife species, and we are excited to be launching this unique effort with SFI."
Audubon New York was awarded a total of $14,000 over two years through the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program for the project. It will include educational workshops for landowners, foresters, and SFI-certified mills – which are required to work with their suppliers to promote responsible forest management on their forests – as well as site visits to work with select landowners to provide specific assistance. Audubon is active in forest stewardship in eight states along the Atlantic Flyway – New York, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North and South Carolina.
In addition to Audubon New York, project partners include the Empire State Forest Products Association, which leads the SFI Implementation Committee in New York State. Seven SFI Program Participants have certified a total of 1.4 million acres/567,000 hectares in New York State to the SFI forest standard, and seven manufacturers are certified to the unique SFI fiber sourcing requirements.
"Audubon, like SFI, recognizes that all forest interests need to work together to reach out to the 600,000 private forest landowners across the state – including landowners, industry, academic research, state agencies and conservation groups," SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow said. "Family forest owners want to manage their lands in a way that conserves wildlife habitat, and this project will provide the expertise they need to integrate bird habitat considerations into their forest management plans and practices."
SFI Inc., an independent third-party forest certification program, created the Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant program last year to build on the more than $1.1 billion SFI program participants have contributed since 1995 for research activities since 1995, including forestry research, science and technology.
The SFI 2010-2014 Standard is based on 14 core principles that promote sustainable forest management, including measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and Forests with Exceptional Conservation Value, and encourages community involvement. The SFI program is the only forest certification standard in North America that requires participants to support and engage in research activities to improve forestry forest health, productivity and sustainable management of forest resources.
About SFI Inc. (www.sfiprogram.org).
SFI Inc. is an independent 501c(3) non-profit charitable organization, and is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program. Across North America, more than 180 million acres/73 million hectares are certified to the SFI forest management standard, making it the largest single standard in the world. SFI chain-of-custody certification tells buyers how much of the fiber in a product is from certified forests, certified sourcing and/or post-consumer recycled content. The SFI program's unique fiber sourcing requirements promote responsible forest management on all suppliers' lands. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally.
About Audubon New York (http://ny.audubon.org)
Audubon New York, the 50,000 member State program of the National Audubon Society, is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitats that supports them. As part of a national network of community-based nature centers and chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of areas sustaining important bird populations, Audubon New York helps to engage millions of people of all ages and backgrounds in positive conservation experiences.
SOURCE Sustainable Forestry Initiative