Continued work to support FSC controlled wood standard

Written by Zander Evans

As we described in the November issue of Across the Landscape, the Guild has been an active participant in FSC’s controlled wood risk assessment and mitigation. Since then we’ve expanded our education and outreach efforts.

The Guild is working with companies in the Pacific Northwest to share information about the importance of old growth forests, biodiversity in the Klamath-Siskiyou Region, and the threat posed by conversion of forest to other uses. We have hosted an array of webinars on these topics. We started with a discussion of old growth forests and the ecology and management of dead wood (watch the webinar recording). Resources are collected on our website’s old growth page. We’ve produced two handouts for the FSC companies working with the Guild on coastal old growth forests and those in the fire adapted forests of the intermountain west. As companies share these with clients, procurement foresters, and landowners, they’ll be sharing our vision for ecological forestry.

The next topic we tackled was the threat of conversion of forests to other land uses. Again, we’ve produced a webinar (see the recording here), a website with additional resources, and a handout FSC companies can use to educate their partners. The effort to limit the conversion of forests to other uses links this work to other efforts such as the Foresters for the Birds program and the use of carbon markets to incentivize forest ownership (see the up-coming webinar on carbon markets). Currently, we are working to produce outreach materials focused on the biodiversity in the Klamath-Siskiyou ecoregion. The geologic, topographic, and climatic complexity of this regions drives a diversity of forest types and habitats, which are threatened by past fire suppression, mining, road building, grazing, and management for monodominant stands. Future webinars on the Klamath-Siskiyou ecoregion will also be open to all Guild members.

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the timing of certain activities connected to the Guild’s work on FSC specified risk topics in the Southeast. We’ve postponed spring 2020 events focused on late successional bottomland hardwoods in the Lower Mississippi Valley in Arkansas and Mississippi until early-mid October 2020. An event focused on the mixed mesophytic forests of the Appalachians originally scheduled for spring of 2020 in West Virginia is postponed until at least late June 2020. For both critical biodiversity areas, we will be hosting a webinar discussion and producing outreach materials for distribution to loggers, landowners, and foresters. Even as Covid-19 adds to the challenges of working to reduce the risk of controlled wood, this partnership with companies committed to environmentally sound, socially beneficial, and economically prosperous forest management continues to be an effective way to advance our shared goals.