sustainable, forestry, sustainable forestry, Alabama forestry, forest products industry; inconsistent practices; landowners
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SFI - Sustainable Forestry Initiative
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SFI Inc. is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management. SFI Inc. works with conservation groups, local communities, resource professionals, landowners, and countless other organizations and individuals who share a passion for responsible forest management.

The SFI Board of Directors represents environmental, social and economic interests equally.  Local needs are addressed through a unique grassroots network of SFI Implementation Committees (SIC).

The SFI Forest Certification standard is based on principles that promote sustainable forest management, including measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and Forests with Exceptional Conservation Value.

The standard is used widely across North America, and has strong acceptance in the global marketplace so a steady supply of wood and paper products from legal and responsible sources can be delivered. This is especially important at a time when there is growing demand for green building and responsible paper purchasing, and less than 10 percent of the world’s forests are certified.

SFI Standards promote sustainable forest management in North America and responsible procurement of forest products around the world.

The future of forests depends on credible, transparent and auditable standards like SFI's to ensure a sustainable resource for today and generations to come.

The SFI program at large is made up of the following components.

SFI 2015-2019 Forest Management Standard promotes responsible forestry practices. Its requirements include measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk and forests with exceptional conservation value. The standard is for any organization in the United States or Canada that owns or manages forests.

SFI 2015-2019 Fiber Sourcing Standard goes beyond certified forests to address the 90 percent of the world’s forests that are not certified. Program Participants must show that the raw material in their supply chain comes from legal and responsible sources, whether the forests are certified or not.

SFI 2015-2019 Chain-of-Custody Standard is an accounting system that tracks forest fiber content (certified forest content, certified sourcing and recycled content) through production and manufacturing to the end product. Companies can use chain of custody certification to track and communicate forest fiber content using one of three optional approaches for chain of custody: physical separation, average percentage and volume credit method.  

SFI program requirements for Forest Management, Fiber Sourcing and Chain-of-Custody certification are independently audited by competent and accredited certification bodies to ensure they conform.

Alabama SFI Implementation Committee
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative is supported in Alabama by the SFI Implementation Committee (SIC). Alabama SIC operates as a grassroots infrastructure, reflecting geographic and organizational diversity throughout the state.  State implementation committees are a fundamental strength of the SFI program.

Program Participants in Alabama include: 
American Forest Management; Boise Paper; Campbell Global LLC; Canfor; CatchMark Timber Trust; Claw Forestry; Domtar Paper Company LLC; Georgia-Pacific; Hancock Natural Resource Group; Green Diamond Management Company; Homan Industries; International Paper; Jasper Lumber Company Inc; KyKenKee; Louisiana-Pacific Corporation; McShan Lumber Company; Molpus Timberlands; Norbord; Packaging Corporation of America; PotlatchDeltic; Rayonier; Resolute Forest Products; Resource Management Service LLC; Scotch Plywood Company; The Westervelt Company; Timberland Investment Resources; Two Rivers Lumber; West Fraser; WestRock; and Weyerhaeuser.  Program Supporters in Alabama include:  Alabama Rivers and Streams Network; National Wild Turkey Federation; The Alabama Association of Consulting Foresters; The Alabama Department of Conservation; The Alabama Forestry Association; The Alabama Forestry Commission; The Alabama Loggers Council; The Alabama Tree Farm Committee; The Alabama Wildlife Federation; The Auburn School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences; and The Nature Conservancy.

The core responsibilities of the Alabama SIC are to:

A.     Establish criteria and identify delivery mechanisms for logger and forester training to define what it means to be “SFI trained”
B.     Establish protocols for addressing inconsistent practices
C.     Focus landowner outreach efforts on education and technical assistance
D.     Focus public outreach efforts on increasing SFI program recognition and support with local opinion leaders and forestry professionals
E.      Submit SIC Annual Progress Report to SFI, Inc. 
F.      Protect the integrity of the SFI program by:
a) ensuring proper SIC service mark usage
b) alerting SFI, Inc. when improper communications or misleading claims are observed
c) avoiding the appearance of participation or compliance by non-SFI program participants

SFI Public Outreach and Landowner Education Subcommittee

The Alabama SIC promotes and supports forest sustainability through a number of public outreach efforts and education programs related to sustainable forest management.

Teachers Conservation Workshop - This professional development workshop for PreK-12 educators covers forest ecology, forest management and forest products through lessons, field trips and activities from the environmental education program, Project Learning Tree.

Auburn University College of Architecture Forestry Tour - The Alabama SIC supports students and faculty to attend a Forest Sustainability and Products tour where they learn about forest certification and SFI principles.  Participants travel to a forest to see a harvesting operation.  They visit Structural Wood Systems in Greenville to see the manufacturing of laminated glue beams.  The tour concludes with a visit the the Alabama Forestry Foundation building in Montgomery where the principal architect discusses the qualities of wood in design.  Participants also learn about green building certification programs.

The Landowners Guide to Sustainable Forests contains basic guidelines developed to help landowners manage their forest resource.

The Alabama Tree Farm Committee is financially supported by the Alabama SFI Implementation Committee to promote sustainable forestry on family forestlands. The SIC sponsors the Tree Farm Inspector Incentive program to encourage new certifications, recertifications and the annual audited reinspections.

The SIC partners with the Alabama Forestry Commission, the American Tree Farm System and Alabama Tree Farm to certify interested TREASURE Forest and Forest Stewards landowners.

SFI Logger Education and Inconsistent Practices Subcommittee

The SIC establishes the criteria and delivery of the Professional Logging Managers program, which recognizes that participants are knowledgeable in:
  • Sustainable forestry principles and the SFI program
  • Best management practices for water quality
  • Reforestation, invasive exotic plants and animals, forest resource conservation, aesthetics and special sites
  • U.S. Endangered Species Act and other measures to protect wildlife habitat
  • Logging Safety
  • OSHA regulations, wage and hour rules, and other employment laws
  • Transportation issues
  • Business management
  • Public policy and outreach
  • Awareness of emerging technologies

The Professional Logging Managers course is a joint partnership between Auburn University, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Alabama Forestry Commission, and the Alabama SIC. The principal author and facilitator of the program is Auburn University Associate Professor Dr. Mathew Smidt,  

PLM Agenda
Day 1 - Forest Resources
Day 2 - Safety and Compliance

PLM Presentations
Day 1 - Forest Resources

Day 2 - Safety and Compliance

  • Learning From Logging Injuries
  • Job Hazard Analysis
  • Hearing Conservation and Hazard Communication
  • Chainsaw Maintenance and Safety
  • Trucking Violations/Regulations
  • The Contribution of Forestry to Communities
  • Business Information
  • Logging Cost
The SIC encourages reports of any forest management practices involving SFI member companies that appear to be inconsistent with the principles of the SFI standard.  The SIC sponsors a method to address any questions on potential inconsistent practices.  Concerns can be reported by emailing  The SIC works with state agencies to address public concerns about forestry practices. 
Complaints will be addressed using the Alabama SIC inconsistent practices procedures.
Current Best Management Practices compliance statistics are made available by the Alabama Forestry Commission. The Southern Group of State Foresters provides implementation rates at the regional level.


For additional information about SFI in Alabama, please email the Alabama SFI State Implementation Committee coordinator at or call 334-481-2137.


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