DNR achieves recertification of nearly 5 million acres
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) successfully recertified its resource management of 4.96 million acres of state-administered forestlands to two independent, third-party forest management certification systems. Those third parties are The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) and the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC).
“Forest certification is a system that recognizes and rewards sustainable forest management,” explained DNR Division of Forestry Director Dave Epperly.
Certification of Minnesota forestlands has led to a sustainable supply of forest products and services from healthy, diverse and productive ecosystems. It also lead to continuous improvement in forest management practices, better interdisciplinary coordination and communication among resource managers and stakeholders, and increased global competitiveness for consumers of forest products from certified state forestlands.
Forest certification of state-administered forestlands involves several elements. These include a voluntary commitment to adhere to independently established standards for responsible forest management; participate in annual audits performed by external auditors; and address any non-conformances or compliance gaps identified during audits.
Epperly said the DNR’s outstanding achievement in recertifying almost five million acres to both the SFI and FSC Forest Management Standard is a testament to the department’s commitment and dedication to responsible, sustainable forest management. Currently the DNR administers the largest single FSC forest management certificate in the nation.
“We should all be proud of the commitment and achievements the DNR and other certified land managers have made towards sustainable forestry,” Epperly said.
In addition to the 4.84 million acres of state administered lands certified since 2005, DNR successfully expanded its dual forest management certificates by approximately 104,000 acres. This includes 81,673 acres of Land Utilization Project (LUP) Lands in northwestern Minnesota and 22,600 acres of trails-administered lands in northeastern Minnesota.
FSC has long recognized the DNR for its leadership and commitment to sustainable forestry. DNR first obtained FSC certification in 1997 for its forestlands located in Aitkin County.
Along with the county-administered lands, these were the first public forestlands to be certified in the United States, thereby establishing the DNR as a national leader in Forest Certification and in protecting and managing natural lands.
Effective dates of DNR’s renewed certificates are Dec. 31, 2010 - Dec. 31, 2015.
DNR’s FSC Trademark License Code is FSC C020394.