Minnesota Manufacturers of Wood Products Prepare for Economic Rebound with FSC Certification

Twelve Firms Ready to Supply LEED & Green Building Projects with Certified Products


ST. PAUL, Minn. (June 18, 2009) - The "great recession" may have dented the sales of producers of wood products, but twelve Minnesota firms are preparing for the economic rebound with the awarding of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for their wood-based products.


On June 18, the True North Certified Forest Products Network announced that the Network and its twelve member firms had received FSC Chain-of-Custody certification for an array of products manufactured from wood originating in well-managed FSC certified forests or from reclaimed/recycled sources.


"As increasing numbers of architects, builders, remodelers and homeowners are looking to build green and applying for LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) and MN GreenStar certification," states Jeff Forsythe of Nordecor in Brainerd, "I felt that it was time to prepare our company to serve this growing market segment through FSC certification. The True North Network offered us the opportunity to achieve FSC certification in a quick and very resourceful manner. It was also timely in that we are now one of the few companies of our type that has been awarded the new FSC Recycle certification, thus allowing us to certify the authenticity of our reclaimed barn-wood line."


The FSC certification allows the twelve companies to sell FSC-certified and labeled products ranging from lumber and timbers to flooring and paneling, to cabinetry and custom furniture, to architectural millwork and staircase components, to fireplace mantels and art doors, to log siding and decking.


"Our business is focusing on local, green, quality wall and ceiling hardwood paneling products," according to Tom Brand of Grand Arbor in St. Paul. "The True North Woods® certification assures customers that our products come from Minnesota forests and the FSC certification assures customers that they come from well-managed forests."


Persons interested in more information about finding FSC certified suppliers or companies inquiring about becoming FSC certified may contact the Network at 1-888-223-5629, email Info@TrueNorthCertified.com , or visit the Network's website at www.TrueNorthCertified.com.


The True North Certified Forest Products Network offers small primary and secondary manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of forest-based products access to membership in a group FSC Chain-of-Custody certification program. The Network is a program of the Minnesota Wood Education Project, a non-profit organization committed to increasing awareness of the value of sustainable management of our forests and improving the economies of our communities. The program was developed with assistance from Dovetail Partners, a non-profit organization that provides authoritative information about the impacts and trade-offs of environmental decisions, including consumption choices, land use, and policy alternatives.


“Companies in Minnesota have been leaders in FSC certification and this program helps expand participation and increase the availability of FSC-certified products that are locally-made,” says Kathryn Fernholz, Executive Director of Dovetail Partners.


The Forest Stewardship Council is an international organization that supports and promotes forest management standards that are environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable.


The firms that are members of the Network are:
Bemidji Millworks, Bemidji (www.bemidjimillworks.com),
Creative Sawmilling & Products, Bovey (www.truenorthwoods.com/tnw.ashx),
Duluth Timber Company, Duluth (www.duluthtimber.com),
Fallsburg Woodworking, Little Falls (www.fallsburg.net),
Forest Specialties, Golden Valley (www.forestspecialtiesinc.net),
Grand Arbor, St. Paul (www.grand-arbor.com),
J.W. Beltman Woodworking, Nashwauk (www.truenorthwoods.com/tnw.ashx),
Kukkeli Kuu Naturalists, Bovey (www.truenorthwoods.com/tnw.ashx), 
Nordecor, Brainerd (www.nordecor.com),
True North Cedar, Duluth (www.truenorthcedar.com),
Wille Logging, Puposky (www.willellt.blogspot.com), and
Woodmax, Paynesville (www.woodmax.net).