The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is the first state government agency in the nation to become a member of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which sets standards for responsible forest management. “The DNR is a member of FSC because we are concerned with the environmental, economic and social impacts associated with managing forests,” said Tim Beyer, DNR forest certification consultant. “This gives the DNR the opportunity to participate and provide input to policy, standards and governance of the organization.”
The Forest Stewardship Council is a member-led, nonprofit organization that promotes managing the world’s forests to keep them healthy while meeting the demand for forest products now and into the future. Individuals and organizations apply to become members.
Public and private landowners voluntarily enroll their land into the program and maintain FSC certification by demonstrating they met the council’s standards each year. Wood harvested from certified land is used to create products with the FSC label. Examples include construction building materials, paper and furniture.
The DNR is excited to provide input into standards that protect the environment and benefit society while insuring landowners manage their lands sustainably, Beyer said.
“A diverse membership is the key to the integrity of our system,” said Corey Brinkema, president of the Forest Stewardship Council U.S. “It is wonderful to have the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources join as a member to reflect the interests of the people of Minnesota in the decisions FSC makes.”
Minnesota became the first state in the U.S. to certify state forests lands in 1997 and manages the largest FSC-certified forest in the United States at nearly 5 million acres.
“Managing our forests to the highest standard to protect the environment and provide a sustainable supply of wood for our forest products companies that contribute to the state economy is extremely important to the DNR,” said Beyer. “Forest certification is one way to meet these values.”
Visit the certification page for more information on the DNR’s forest certification program.