SAN ANTONIO, Sept. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- From enjoying a walk in the woods to building a home to the clean water and the paper products we use every day, people benefit from forests in countless ways. Today, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) presented three SFI Implementation Committees with SFI's 15th Annual Achievement Award for their efforts to connect communities to sustainable forestry in Maine, Minnesota and Georgia. The presentations were made at a ceremony during SFI's 2013 Annual Conference in San Antonio.
"Every year, SFI recognizes the work of its unique grassroots network of 35 SFI implementation committees, which promote sustainable forestry in communities across North America," SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow said. "The projects we are recognizing today demonstrate how SFI Implementation Committees are, quite literally, at the root of our success because the future of our forests depends on sustained engagement and cooperation at the community level, day in and day out."
This year's awards were made to:
- The Maine SFI Implementation Committee for bringing together stakeholders from around the state in a project to protect habitats for Atlantic salmon and native brook trout by promoting improved stream crossings, fish passage and water quality protection. The Maine SIC was the leading force in establishing the Fisheries Improvement Network (FIN), a forum for public agencies, family forest owners, conservation groups, and others working together to protect critical habitats for Atlantic salmon and native brook trout. One of FIN's major accomplishments this year was producing a film to promote Best Management Practices for stream connectivity and fish passage. And in support of SFI's commitment to continuing education for forestry professionals, committee members have trained more than 500 forestry professionals in forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs) during the past year.
- The Minnesota SFI Implementation Committee for mobilizing volunteers to connect sustainable forestry to an enduring Boy Scouts of America tradition through the "Trees to Track" project. This unique partnership created derby car race kits certified to the SFI Chain of Custody Standard, sustainably harvested by volunteers. More than 2,500 kits will be donated by the Minnesota SFI Implementation Committee to local scouts, who will be encouraged next spring to build and design their own wooden cars with a sustainability theme. The committee also organized a tree planting project with 400 maple trees at the Scouts' "Camp Wilderness." The trees will ultimately be tapped for Boy Scout maple syrup.
- The Georgia SFI Implementation Committee for convening a group of organizations in a community homebuilding initiative promoting the use of SFI-labeled or sustainably sourced lumber in construction and forest products in the home. The initiative, a "Georgia Forestry Community," included a volunteer effort to building a home in partnership with Macon County Habitat for Humanity, while raising awareness of the abundance and sustainability of Georgia's forests. They helped a deserving family achieve their dream of home ownership. Since 2008, SFI and its Implementation Committees have partnered on more than a dozen Habitat for Humanity builds across Canada and the U.S.
About Sustainable Forestry Initiative
SFI Inc. is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) program. Across the United States and Canada, 240 million acres are certified to the SFI forest management standard. In addition, the SFI program's unique fiber sourcing requirements promote responsible forest management on all suppliers' lands. SFI chain-of-custody (COC) certification tracks the percentage of fiber from certified forests, certified sourcing and post-consumer recycled content. SFI on-product labels identify both certified sourcing and COC claims to 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 http://www.sfiprogram.org and http://sfiprogram.org/BuySFI.
SOURCE Sustainable Forestry Initiative