Blackwater River State Forest Certified As Sustainable

September 30, 2015

The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, has certified the Blackwater River and Tate’s Hell State Forests, covering 413,000 acres, through the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), one of the world’s most recognized and independent forest management certification standards.

“We are proud of our efforts to ensure that the land and resources entrusted to the Florida Forest Service are managed responsibly and conscientiously. Thanks to certification programs, such as SFI, the public can remain confident that our state forests are managed in line with some of the highest standards in the nation and will remain healthy and productive for generations to come,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.

SFI’s 2015-2019 Forest Management Standard is based on principles, goals and performance measures that were developed nationally by professional foresters, conservationists and others with the intention of promoting sustainable forest management in North America. SFI and its many partners work together to balance environmental, economic and social objectives such as conservation of wildlife habitat and biodiversity, forest products, protecting water quality, forest industry jobs and recreation.

“We are thrilled that the Florida Forest Service has demonstrated their leadership and commitment to responsible forest management by getting these two beautiful forests covering more than 400,000 acres certified to SFI,” said Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of SFI Inc. “By doing so, they are doing a service to the forests, and the communities and markets that rely on the goods and services that flow from well managed forests.”

Through the SFI Forest Partners Program, the Florida Forest Service joined other public agencies to seek cost-effective and efficient methods to implement and achieve independent SFI certification on its two largest state forests.

The goal of the SFI Forest Partners Program, which was founded by Time Inc., the National Geographic Society, Macmillan Publishers, Pearson, and with support from Hearst Enterprises, is to increase certification throughout the supply chain which in turn enables current and future generations to enjoy America’s forests for years to come.

“By participating in the SFI Forest Partners Program, we are helping infuse the forest products industry with an increased supply of certified timber. Although responsible forest management has been a priority of the Florida Forest Service since the beginning, this new certification provides conscientious consumers with the guarantee that our focus is on protecting, renewing and sustaining healthy forests,” said Jim Karels, Florida State Forester.

Pictured: Work in the Blackwater State Forest, which has been certified as sustainable. Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Comments

One Response to “Blackwater River State Forest Certified As Sustainable”

  1. Trish on September 30th, 2015 9:29 am

    Not sure if anyone out there can answer this………Does this mean that the military will not be able to use Blackwater as a training location? As it stood there was one more public hearing on the subject. “Evidently” Eglin does not have enough area and they want to use Blackwater. Naturally they say only a certain number of troops at a time, will not damage forest…….etc etc etc. Don’t believe a word they say, once they get a foot in then it is all over.





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