Forest Investment Translates Into Business Opportunity


Small Businesses Using FSC Certification to Grow



Minneapolis, Minn. January 29, 2007 - When Aitkin County Land Department got their forest management certified in 1997, they knew they were making an investment in forestry, but now that same investment is translating into local business opportunities as well.



“A local source of certified wood means that local wood product companies can produce and market certified materials to interested customers,” says Mark Jacobs, Aitkin County Land Commissioner.


Customers for certified wood products include large buyers like Time, Inc. looking for certified pulp and paper as well as smaller consumers like local builders, homeowners and others that are interested in knowing more about the wood they are buying.




“Wood product companies can use certification to help answer customers questions about where the wood is coming from and the forest stewardship that is being practiced,” says Ross Wagner, Aitkin County Economic Development.



In Aitkin County, the Upper Mississippi Certified Forest Product Group helps small businesses qualify to label and market FSC-certified productHovlands. The group currently has about 15 participating businesses. The newest member is Eric Hovland.



“I got involved with certification and this local certified group as a way to grow my business and reach new customers,” says Hovland.



One of Hovland's first new customers has been Dovetail Partners, a nonprofit forestry organization based in Minneapolis. Hovland has been supplying local FSC-certified products for the house Dovetail is building in the City of Aitkin.



“Using locally-grown and FSC-certified wood is a growing trend in green building projects and a way to support local businesses while being friendly to the environment,” says Alison Lindburg, Director of Dovetail's Eco-Affordable Housing Program.



The house includes a basswood ceiling, wood floors, birch cabinets, and a stairway that are all made from local, FSC-certified wood. Hovland is supplying the wood for the ceiling and some of the floors. Another Aitkin business, Custom Creations is responsible for the home's cabinets.



“Wood is a beautiful material that adds a lot of warmth to a home,” says Neil Stecker of Custom Creations. “And it just feels that much better when that wood comes from a local forest that is being well-managed for the long term.”



Tours of the home in Aitkin are being scheduled now. For more information, contact Dovetail Partners at , 612-333-0430.


For further information:

Alison Lindburg, Dovetail Partners Inc., tel: 612-333-0430

Ross Wagner at the Aitkin County Economic Development Office 209 2nd St. NW Aitkin, Mn. 56431 or 218-927-7305 or email