Virginia Department of Forestry’s Commitment to Sustainability Recognized by Certification

The Virginia Department of Forestry today announced that it has certified all of Virginia’s State Forests to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and American Tree Farm System standards. These certified forests cover more than 68,000 acres.

The state forests system is self-sustaining and receives no general funds, so they must support operations through timber sales like other private landowners. Certification of Virginia state forest lands demonstrates for Virginia landowners how certification can be part of their land management efforts while validating that working forests are sustainable.

“The commitment to sustainability within Virginia State Forests began in 1919 with the gift of 588 acres of land in Prince Edward County from Emmett D. Gallion for the purpose of advancing the cause of forestry in Virginia,” said State Forests Manager Gary Heiser. “Since that time, the state forests have grown in acres, productivity and biological diversity through the dedication of many state forest employees committed to responsible forest management.”

“The market for forest products is international, and consumers expect assurance that their products are produced sustainably and support a healthy environment,” said Virginia State Forester Rob Farrell. “SFI and Tree Farm Certification provide an assurance that forest products from Virginia landowners are legally and sustainably harvested, giving our landowners an advantage over wood producers from many other parts of the world, where environmental protections may not be assured.”

“We are thrilled Virginia is certifying its State Forests. Virginia’s leadership has always helped advance sustainability across the forest sector. They join 14 other states that have certified their forests, along with eight more that are actively looking at certification,” said SFI Inc. President and CEO, Kathy Abusow.
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