Family Forests Alliance Year-End Report

10/29/2008

 

2009 Action Plan Priorities Identified

 

(New Gloucester, Maine) – Following an annual meeting in New Gloucester, Maine, the core organizers for the FSC Family Forests Alliance announce the year-end accomplishments and the strategic direction for 2009.

 

“Over the past two years the Alliance has been active in helping connect FSC stakeholders around family forest issues, as well as investing time and energy in the FSC standards revision process,” said Kathryn Fernholz, past-Secretariat for the Alliance and Executive Director for Dovetail Partners, an Alliance partner.

 

In 2007, the Alliance hosted a national gathering at the Wingspread Conference Center in Racine, Wisconsin. The outcomes of that gathering defined the Alliance’s 2008 Action Plan. Since that meeting the Alliance has been focused on efforts to develop family forest standards as a part of the FSC standards revision process. Alliance partners have also initiated carbon credit projects for family forest owners, supported marketing alliances and participated in FSC’s global efforts with small forest holders. The Alliance is now turning its attention towards the development of a national strategy for supporting expanded family forest certification.

 

“We’re seeing strong signals from multiple markets that are leading to very real opportunities for family forests, particularly in certain regions of the country,” says Ian Hanna, FSC-US board member and Alliance partner. “One of the next steps is to see how we can best aggregate each group’s regional activities with some form of national infrastructure.”

 

During 2008, a priority for the Alliance has been participating in the five-year cycle of the FSC’s standards revision process. One important component of this process has been the development of indicators that will be applied to certification assessments on small-scale family forest properties.

 

“We’re anxious to see the standards revision process come to fruition soon and move into the next stages of field testing and implementation,” says John Gunn, member of the FSC standards working group and Alliance partner.

 

The new 2009 Action Plan for the Alliance prioritizes the expansion of family forest certification. The plan includes supporting group certification initiatives and growing the capacity of group managers to expand their membership and landowner recruitment efforts. The Alliance will also continue to develop innovative opportunities for landowners to participate in ecosystem service markets.

 

In keeping with the spirit this shared alliance of organizations, the Alliance partners named Kate Albert Read of The Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands as the new Secretariat for a two year term.

 

 

“The Alliance is a key organization for expanding the benefits of forest certification to family woodland owners and 2009 promises to be another year of inventive growth and development,” says Kate Albert Read.

 

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More information is available at the FSC Family Forests Alliance website: http://www.familyforestsalliance.org