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Forestry Certification

There are a variety of groups that promote sustainable forestry and healthy forests through certification programs.

American Tree Farm System

The American Tree Farm System® (ATFS) is a program of the American Forest Foundation. It is committed to sustaining forests, watersheds, and healthy habitats through the power of private stewardship. Their mission is to promote the growing of renewable forest resources on private lands while protecting environmental benefits and increasing public understanding of all benefits of productive forestry.

ATFS has established standards and guidelines for property owners to meet to become a certified Tree Farm. Under these standards and guidelines, private forest owners must develop a management plan and pass an inspection by an ATFS volunteer forester every five years. Certification of Tree Farms through the ATFS is the oldest and largest voluntary third party verification process in the United States. It has been active since 1941. 

Ecotrust: Forestry Market Connections

Ecotrust is working to connect the demand for responsibly harvested wood products with the supply, through their Forestry Market Connections program.

A Project Forester enlists land managers who have met Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards to sell their certified wood to Northwest mills. Ecotrust’s Director of Market Connections works to get certified wood into green building projects. 

Forest Stewardship Council

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international network to promote responsible management of the world’s forests. Its mission is to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests.

FSC accredits independent, third-party certification bodies or certifiers that assess companies and landowners according to FSC policies, principles and criteria. FSC audits its certifiers on an annual basis to ensure that policies are being followed.  

Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities Partnership

The Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities Partnership (HFHC) is a non-profit network of businesses in the Pacific Northwest. It is committed to making the highest quality products from wood selected in ways that maintain or restore the health of our forests. Member businesses turn wood originating from FSC certified, reclaimed, and forest restoration projects into products, such as flooring, paneling, furniture, building materials, and gifts.

HFHC businesses are locally-owned and create jobs in small towns. With over 60 members—including land managers, businesses, and non-profits—their label reflects a commitment to environment and community, and allows consumers to make a choice that makes a difference. 

Northwest Natural Resource Group

The Northwest Natural Resource Group has developed Northwest Certified Forestry, a program to provide group Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for private forest landowners in the Pacific Northwest.

Northwest Certified Forestry helps landowners gain access to markets for certified sustainably managed forest products. It also offers educational workshops, forest stewardship planning services, and market development services. 


SmartWood is the certification arm of the Rainforest Alliance. The Rainforest Alliance, one of the founders of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), is the world’s largest FSC forestlands certifier. They are an accredited certification body in the FSC system. The Rainforest Alliance endorses FSC certification of forests as the most effective way to balance the environmental, cultural and economic values of forests. 

Sustainable Forestry Initiative

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) program was developed by the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) to document the commitment of its members and the program's licensees to keep forests healthy and practice the highest level of sustainable forestry.

The SFI Program is overseen by the Sustainable Forestry Board (SFB), an independent 501(c)3 organization, which is responsible for maintaining and enhancing the SFI Standard and verification procedures.

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