LandVest’s Timberland Division has recently become certified by the Rainforest Alliance to the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC) Forest Management and Chain of Custody Standards – FSC® C120428. Forest Certification is a voluntary third-party process to identify and recognize well-managed forestland. LandVest’s forest management policies, procedures, and field operations were compared to an established set of rigorous standards which address the social, environmental and economic impacts of forests and surrounding communities. The ten principles which formulate the nearly 200 indicators which must be met for certification are:
- Compliance with laws and FSC principles
- Rights and responsibilities relating to land tenure and use
- Indigenous peoples’ rights
- Community relations and workers’ rights
- Benefits from the forest
- Environmental impact
- Management plan
- Monitoring and assessment
- Maintenance of high conservation value forests
- Plantations (responsible management of)
LandVest chose the Group Manager option which allows any property that LandVest manages to become certified as long as the standard is met. The initial group includes 9 properties covering 35,475 acres in four northeast states. Property size ranges from just under 200 acres to over 15,000 acres. Individual forest owners can choose to acquire their own certificate, but the costs are significantly higher. Due to our experience and success, costs for our group are lower than some of our competitors.
Other benefits of certification include:
- Independent third party audit of forest management systems
- Increased market access & market share
- Accepted standard for easements and regulation in some situations
- Compliance with fiber supply agreements
- Satisfies investor/owner environmental ethics
LandVest has been managing certified land for nearly a decade. We are currently the primary manager on over 700,000 acres of certified lands. We have been through numerous audits across the majority of the region in which we work. LandVest and the members of its group are committed to managing forests in accordance with the terms of the Forest Stewardship Council’s US Forest Management Standard. This includes a commitment to the implementation of the FSC Principles and Criteria. We have built a company culture focused on standardization of methods, consistency of product, and flexibility in implementation.
If you would like to comment, learn more about or join the LandVest Forest Certification Group, please find your local LandVest forester at http://www.landvesttimberland.com/about_landvest/office_locations/ or contact Steve Hawkes at 814-561-1018 or firstname.lastname@example.org.