As reported in a Boundary Creek Newspaper article, four BC woodlot owners have applied for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification through Ecotrust Canada, in an attempt to demonstrate that economic return, local ownership, and high standard environmental stewardship can go hand in hand.
FSC certification is voluntary and provides tracking of products from forest to final consumer that ensures that environmental and social standards are met by everyone who has handled certified products.
Ecotrust sent Forestry Project Manager Orrin Quinn to the Boundary for the second time this year to meet with woodlot owners last week. Last spring a meeting was organized by the Boundary Woodlot Association at Jak’s Diner in Greenwood.
The second visit was facilitated by Deborah Baker of Sunrise Forest Promotions and Ecotrust Canada. Deborah had invited a representative from a US sawmill who is offering reasonable prices for Yellow Pine if it is FSC certified. “They generally don’t offer a premium but his price is quite a reasonable price and FSC gives you the market access,” Quinn told the Times.
“Essentially we are trying to help the Boundary entrepreneurs improve the local economy,” said Quinn. “Ecotrust Canada promotes the conservation based economy. We do a lot of different things – not just FSC certification; that is one of the small tools that we have.”
According to Quinn four local woodlot owners have confirmed they are going to go ahead with application for certification now. George Delisle, Rod Gould, Fred and Jane Marshall, and Brian Hislop are the first from the Boundary Woodlot Association to seek certification.
“I go over the standards with the woodlot managers and then we spend a day or two in the field walking through the forests and assessing them to make sure they meet the requirements. If there are any minor changes that need to happen then we discuss them.”
Quinn is on the FSC Pacific Northwest Steering committee; and as such is talking to all wood producers throughout the northwest to keep certified products flowing to market.
The cost for certification is now about $1,000 per year – but that would be lower if more members join; and Quinn is available to help with the certification applications.
“One of the driving factors in certified wood products is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system; they only recommend FSC certified wood products in their rating system,” explains Quinn. A lot of local governments when they are building new buildings want to be socially responsible so they are requiring certified wood in their procurement policies.”
Deborah Baker of Sunrise Forest Promotions has been in business since June. She and her husband Bruce own a woodlot as well at the Norwegian Creek Sawmill.
“I want to support and promote all Boundary area woodlot owners and small sawmill operators,” she explains. “These guys are so busy working on the wood lot or at their mills I can assist by acting as a broker – if people want something or need to sell their product they can call me and I will phone around to find a market. The goal is to support local economy by promoting forestry in this area.”