Forest Certification

Landowners walking their land

State Foresters have long been advocates of policies encouraging the use of domestic wood products for green building – from both economic and environmental perspectives. State foresters have a unique public trust responsibility for America’s forests, and we have been active leaders in the growth and evolution of third-party forest certification as an important tool that is making a positive contribution in our public and private forests.

NASF's 2013 green building resolution points to the importance of giving wood products, especially from the United States, a substantial role in the green building movement.

The resolution urged organizations that maintain green building standards to “recognize the value of U.S. wood that is certified by a credible forestland certification standard as having been grown in a sustainable manner, keeping in mind that there are multiple certification standards and systems that are credible and nationally recognized, and that the diversity of U.S. forestlands requires the use of multiple forestland certification standards and systems…”

NASF members have also approved a forest certification policy statement, setting out the fundamental elements of forest certification: independent governance, multi-stakeholder standard, independent certification, complaints/appeals process, open participation and transparency. This policy statement found that all of the major certification programs used in the United States – the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) – include these elements and make positive contributions to forest sustainability.