Forest Certification at Saint John's Arboretum
What is the Forest Stewardship Council?
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-profit organization devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world's forests. It's purpose is to coordinate the development of forest management standards throughout the U.S., to provide public information about certification and FSC, and to work with certification organizations to promote FSC certification in the U.S.
What does it mean to be FSC-certified?
When the FSC was formed, they wanted to provide some way to assure concerned, responsible consumers that the wood they used was grown and harvested sustainably. FSC follows ten guiding principles covering the ecological, economic, and social aspects of forest operations. Their standards are quite detailed, but basically ask these questions: 1) Do you have a long-range plan for the care and management of your forests, and does that plan include a broad range of ecological, economic, and social factors?2) Is your plan scientifically justified? 3) Do you follow your plan? Annual audits by independent, third-party auditors help ensure that certified forests continue to meet FSC standards.
Why did Saint John's undergo certification?
Saint John’s has a long history of using the forest wisely. The Benedictine owners have a deep and enduring belief in responsible stewardship of the land and have done a great job of caring for the forests here. FSC-certification is important to Saint John's for three main reasons:
- To provide a public statement of the quality of Saint John's forest management
- To enhancing credibility with other forest landowners so Saint John’s Abbey Arboretum could do more to demonstrate and teach sustainable forestry.
- To provide a greater opportunity to enhance awareness about sustainable forestry and its current and historical role at Saint John's