Pending FSC Re-Certification Evaluation of the State of Wisconsin DNR, Managed Forest Law Tree Farm Group

Summary:  As part of an FSC assessment, SCS is currently seeking stakeholder input regarding the forest management of the State of Wisconsin DNR, Managed Forest Law Tree Farm Group.  Please comment via email, or call our offices or representatives to discuss (contact info below).

The State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WI DNR) is seeking renewal of their Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) endorsed certification for the Managed Forest Law Tree Farm Group (MFL Group).  The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-profit organization devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC sets standards that ensure forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable way. 

The Department of Natural Resources manages a group certification program for non-industrial forestland enrolled in the Managed Forest Law Group to encourage responsible management of private forest land. The Wisconsin legislature enacted the MFL program in 1985. Ownerships are nearly entirely “family forests”, defined broadly as nonindustrial private forest land not part of large forest industry, certain tribal, Real-Estate Investment Trust (REIT) or Timber Investment Management Organization (TIMO) ownerships, and are located throughout the state of Wisconsin. NSF-ISR awarded Tree Farm Group Certificate -1Y942-FC1 in August 8, 2011 after a full Tree Farm Group audit.  After a full audit in March 2008 the MFL Group also achieved Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, registration #SW-FM/COC-003626

Scope and Re-Certification Evaluation Process

SCS Global Services (SCS), a FSC-accredited certification body based in Emeryville, California, will conduct this FSC evaluation.  

Performance will be evaluated against the FSC US Forest Management Standard, Version 1.0. A copy of the standard is available from http://www.scsglobalservices.com/certification-standards-and-program-documents or SCS upon request.

The Re-Evaluation Process Includes the Following Phases:

  1. Public Notification: distribution of the standard and solicitation of comments on the certification applicant; Audit planning and document review
  2. Field assessment: A representative sample of field sites and operations within the defined forest area are inspected by a team of auditors
  3. Stakeholder consultation
  4. Synthesis of findings: Compliance with the standard is ascertained and the certification decision is formulated
  5. Reporting:   A draft report describing the evaluation process, findings, and certification decision is produced
  6. Delivery of final certification report
  7. Certification Decision: a public summary of the certification report is released, if certification is awarded

Call for Public Participation

SCS welcomes comments on the forest management of the MFL Group or other topics pertinent to their seeking renewal of FSC certification, such as whether WI DNR complies with the legal, social, technical, and environmental requirements of the standard or identification of high conservation value forests[1] within the lands of the MFL Group.  Comments can be submitted via email, standard mail, or facsimile to lead auditor, Mr. Dave Wager (contact details below).  The audit team can make arrangements to allow stakeholders to meet with them during the evaluation upon request.  All comments and sources will be kept in strict confidence at the request of the commenter. 

Dates

The field evaluation is scheduled to commence during the week of 11 June 2018, in conjunction with an American Tree Farm System Group Evaluation conducted by NSF International.  SCS will make arrangements to meet with interested parties during the evaluation if appropriate, but it is preferred that comments are submitted before the evaluation commences

Dispute Resolution Procedure

As provided by the FSC Interim Dispute Resolution Protocol and the SCS Forest Conservation Program Quality Manual, dispute resolution procedures are in place and available to interested parties at http://www.scsglobalservices.com/your-feedback

Additional Information

More information about FSC and SCS can be obtained from www.fsc.org and www.SCSglobalServices.com. Information on the MFL Group can be found at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/timbersales/mfl.html

Contacts
  1. Beth Jacqmain | FSC Lead Auditor | bjacqmain@scsglobalservices.com
  2. Brendan Grady | SCS Director of Forest Management | bgrady@scsglobalservices.com | +1 (510)-452-8034
  3. Stefan Bergmann | Certification Forester, Natural Resources Division | SBergmann@scsglobalservices.com | Direct: +1 (510)-457-9012 | Mobile: +1 (608)-216-6753

[1]High Conservation Value Forests possess one or more of the following attributes: a) forest areas containing globally, regionally or nationally significant: concentrations of biodiversity values (eg. endemism, endangered species, refugia); and/or large landscape level forests, contained within, or containing the management unit, where viable populations of most if not all naturally occurring species exist in natural patterns of distribution and abundance b) forest areas that are in or contain rare, threatened or endangered ecosystems c) forest areas that provide basic services of nature in critical situations (eg. watershed protection, erosion control) d) forest areas fundamental to meeting basic needs of local communities (eg. subsistence, health) and/or critical to local communities’ traditional cultural  identity (areas of cultural, ecological, economic or religious significance identified in cooperation with such local communities).   Also see Principle 9, in the FSC Principles and Criteria.