The Indiana Division of Forestry has certified 150,000+ acres of state owned lands and also enrolled approximately 500,000 acres of privately owned lands participating in the Classified Forest & Wildlands program in group certification through both the Forest Stewardship Council® and Sustainable Forestry Initiative®.
Interested private landowners in Indiana can join the Classified Forest and Wildlands (CFW) Program, a program to protect forests and promote reforestation with a property tax incentive and landowner assistance from the Indiana Division of Forestry. That enrollment allows them entrance into the private lands certification group.
The national and international wood products industry is demanding wood that is certified sustainable to meet the requests of consumers. Certification by an independent third party helps ensure the land is well managed and best management practices are being utilized and provides a stable supply of certified wood to meet the industry’s needs. The $1.5 billion forest products industry in Indiana can expand into new domestic and international markets due to the availability of a certified wood supply.
Requirements for landowners
The Indiana Classified Forest Certified Group (FSC®-C071226) is managed by the Division of Forestry. The Division absorbs all costs of certification and coordinates communication with the certifiers.
Landowners enrolled in the CFW can choose to opt out of certification if they are not interested in participating. There are a few requirements of the CFW program, including annual reports, following an approved management plan, and keeping records of management activities. If they agree to join the group certification they have a few further requirements. They must:
• Conform to certification standards;
• Contact their state forester when planning a timber harvest; and
• Ensure that no banned pesticides are used on certified lands
While there is no direct financial advantage to selling certified wood, the opportunity to market your timber for a broader array of wood products provides a competitive advantage in depressed markets. Indiana’s group certification ensures the world that our woodlands are sustainably managed for the long haul. For more about Indiana’s private forestland certification, see http://www.in.gov/dnr/forestry/7536.htm.