The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has obtained independent review and recertification for all of the 21 state forests under the management of the ODNR Division of Forestry.
“Once again Ohio’s state forests have been recognized for responsible forest management under two separate third-party certification systems,” said Robert Boyles, ODNR deputy director and state forester. “The recertification process is extensive, and we continue to guide our management of ODNR’s state forests using these internationally recognized and high standards for forest management.”
“Forest certification promotes responsible forest management, and we applaud Ohio’s public forest managers for acting in a manner consistent with their principles,” said Bill Stanley, director of conservation and assistant state director at The Nature Conservancy. “Well-managed forests can simultaneously provide economic, social and environmental benefits, and this certification demonstrates not only intent, but action to deliver on these three goals.”
The ODNR Division of Forestry received recertification to the principles and criteria of two internationally recognized organizations – the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). The SFI integrates principles of environmental protection, while the FSC promotes responsible forest stewardship worldwide.
All of Ohio’s 21 state forests covering more than 200,000 acres are recertified. The renewal will be valid for the next five years.
Forest certification is a scientific, independent review process that ensures standards are met for responsible forest management. Both certification systems allow tagging of forest products that ensure to a purchaser that the certification body standards were met in producing the product. Certification of Ohio’s state forests enables the increased marketability of products by Ohio’s private forest industry.
The recognition is a culmination of extensive audits, which include on-site verification, stakeholder meetings, as well as a comprehensive review of timber management, conservation practices, recreation and public outreach. Certification standards are set and updated by the program’s partners from environmental, social and economic sectors, and these standards are internationally recognized for forest sustainability. Verification audits are conducted annually.
The harvesting, milling and manufacture of wood into paper, furniture and wood products employs more than 118,000 Ohioans and contributes $22 billion to the state’s economy. Forest-based tourism and recreation create countless more jobs, add millions of dollars to the state’s economy and enhance the overall quality of life.
The ODNR Division of Forestry works to promote the wise use and sustainable management of Ohio’s public and private woodlands. To learn more about Ohio’s woodlands, visit forestry.ohiodnr.gov.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.