Hi all! Thank you for a great first meeting! Let’s use this thread to start adding challenges that you are currently experiencing in your professional work around mass timber procurement.


I’ll start! One challenge we see in understanding how to encourage climate smart forest product procurement is around supply chain and chain of custody - outside of FSC’s chain of custody, which is very limited in scope, it’s very difficult to track logs from a particular forest and forest practice through to the final product. Can this change within the existing supply chain? What procurement strategies exist that address this?

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Thanks, Lindsay, I’ll hop in on this one.

My understanding of the way that standard forest products industry supply chains work is that material from multiple sources is typically mixed together at different stages of manufacturing and distribution in ways that make precise origins hard to identify. For example, a CLT mill may source lumber direct from several sawmills as well as from wholesale distributers/dry kiln operators who concentrate and mix materials from several more; the sawmills buy logs direct from landowners and mix them in their operations, and they also buy logs from concentration yards who mix material from numerous different landowners, sorting by species, grade etc. The result is that, in the normal course of business, the CLT manufacturer may at best be able to trace material back to a several different "wood baskets” that the sawmills draw logs from, but traceability back to specific forests is difficult or impossible.

All this poses challenges in cases where people interested in sourcing ‘climate-smart’ mass timber not only want to know precisely where the wood they use originates, but they also want it to come from specific forestry operations whose practices they like. In such cases, supply chain actors may be required to make extraordinary efforts to store and segregate materials in non-standard ways whose impact on costs and lead times can be significant.

Forest certification systems like FSC and SFI/PEFC get around such challenges by allowing the mixing of certified and non-certified material at different stages of manufacturing, most commonly using a “credit” or “volume balance” system where a manufacturer can sell as certified a quantity of outputs that corresponds to the quantity of inputs coming into their process anytime over a fixed timeframe. So for example, under FSC, if a sawmill can get 500 bd ft of lumber from 1000 bd. ft. of logs, and they buy that quantity of certified logs, they bank 500 bd. ft. of credits in a lumber account and then they can mix certified and non-certified logs in their yard and their production, making lumber as they normally would and being able to sell 500 bd ft of “FSC Mix” material anytime in the 24 months after they originally banked the credits.

There is also a system, and a label, in FSC – FSC 100% – (there is an SFI/PEFC equivalent) where all of the wood in a product comes from a certified forest (although even here, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly which one).

The difference between these systems / labels is described on the FSC website as follows:

FSC 100% is a bit like certified organic products. Certified organic fruits and vegetables are sourced from farms that undergo independent audits to ensure they don’t use any chemicals in their production processes. This organic produce can be traced from the stores all the way back to the farms where they were grown. Similarly, all FSC 100% products come from certified forests.

FSC MIX, on the other hand, is more like some green power programs where you pay a little more to support renewable energy production. If you participate in this type of program, you don’t expect that all of the electricity that powers your house will come from wind or solar—it’s going to be a mix of energy from renewable and conventional sources—and you certainly don’t expect to be able to trace your energy mix back to a particular solar panel. Yet, by participating in the program, you know you are supporting the growth of renewables as an equivalent amount of the energy you use has been purchased as green electricity by your energy supplier. In the same way, when you buy FSC MIX, even though the share of certified wood or fibre differs from one product to the next, you are supporting increased sourcing from and the growth of responsible forestry.

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I don’t think technical challenges are insurmountable, but I’m not sure they are worth it – very interested in others’ opinions.

  1. Jacob Dunn at ZGf has done a ton of great work on this and has some terrific illustrations to share.
  2. Frances Yang and I met with some professors from Oregon State 3-4 years ago who had developed a wood tracking system using QR codes and microdots in paint. They intended it to combat illegal logging but it would deliver this visibility as well.
  3. Kettle Brand potato chips has a code on each bag that tells you which farmer grew the potatoes in that bag. ((Tater Tracker - Kettle Brand) The ones I enjoyed last weekend were from Allied Potato, Inc.) Those sell at <$5 per individually tracked unit.
    While I think it is feasible ,it would take some investment to put tracking in place, and so it would need to offer more value than just storytelling (which is valuable, but only to a small number of buyers). We need to think through the value chain to match the supply chain – if this is about stored carbon and matching wood products to management practices on forest land, then how do the carbon credits stick to the products? If the end user doesn’t want the credits (I think forest land owners will want the credits more than end users) then a wood basket approach is probably more suitable.
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Hi everyone. Glad to see so much being shared. I am pulling together some content on this important topic and will post it later today. Stay tuned!

Here are some additional thoughts for everyone’s consideration.

I have uploaded a file that we prepared for Google on the lumber procurement strategies deployed at Structurlam. You will see how fragmented the North American lumber industry is and how many lumber mills are needed to supply a mass timber manufacturer like Structurlam with the dimensions, lengths, species, grades to make glulam columns and beams and CLT.

It is worth mentioning that the top 5 lumber producers in North America make up approximately 35% of the softwood lumber production. So based on the fragmented nature of our lumber industry one of the the most important aspects of climate smart mass timber is that it must start with forestry.

FSC is not the only way to achieve “climate smart forestry” and this should be expanded to include all leading forestry certification systems.

So one strategy to consider is for lumber procurement strategies to be inclusive to SFI, FSC and PEFC and this will encourage more responsibly sourced, climate smart practices.

SFI has more lands certified in North America, thus more supply is certified, thus it’s easier to find and track “climate smart forestry” wood for the mass timber industry

With regards to the labelling concept SFI can provide the following label methods:

• The physical separation method allows an organization to make a claim, or use a SFI label, 100% of the lumber in the mass timber product comes from a certified forest.

• SFI volume credit method allows an organization to make claims, or use a SFI label, on the amount of certified input they have. So if the input of certified content is 30%, the organization can only make claims or use the SFI label on 30% of the output.

• SFI average percentage method allows an organization to make claims, or use a SFI label, on 100% of their product, but they have to be transparent on how much is certified content. So if it is only 30% certified content, the organization has to disclose that on the label or claim.

My lumber procurement document highlights the province of BC as an example of sustainable forest practices that operates at scale. We expect to have similar experiences in Arkansas where we are currently building our US mass timber plant that will be operational in July 2021.

I hope this information is helpful and am happy to discuss further anytime.

Structurlam Lumber Procurement Feb 09 2021.pdf (416.9 KB)

Certified Forest Area by State and Province - 2019 YEAR END.pdf (83.0 KB)

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Without wading into FSC v SFI debates, I’d like to expand the lens on this discussion about sourcing challenges, which are very real.

It’s important to understand that writ large (with notable exceptions), the timber industry has been designed over decades to deliver one thing: The most value for the least dollar. From forest management, through supply chains, this commodity mentality rules the industry. Again, there are notable exceptions. But if you go to a large supplier and ask for a product, you are very likely to get a product that is viewed as a commodity, born of practices that are designed to maximize economic return within legal frameworks. This is not a recipe for protecting environmental and social values, beyond what is required by law.

If we acknowledge that climate change poses an existential threat, then we need to look for creative ways to do much more than the status quo. Relying on current and historical approaches to delivering commodities are not adequate.

As we try to figure out how to get “climate-friendly” products from forests to job sites, we also need to be precise about what we mean by climate friendly. This is not first and foremost a sourcing conversation, but it directly impacts the sourcing solutions we identify.

For example, we may agree that cutting down the small percentage of remaining old growth forests is not climate friendly, and that sourcing old growth should be avoided. Today, it is very difficult to avoid sourcing old growth through conventional supply chains. So our decision to avoid old growth has supply chain implications.

Similarly, we may decide that protecting habitat for declining species is critical to climate smart forestry. Woodland caribou, for example, are in decline in Canada’s boreal. And while good people can disagree on the solution, there is largely consensus that the status quo is insufficient, if only because the populations continue to decline.

Because this is a Leadership Summit, it is critical that we agree on the practices that define “climate friendly” up front. The vision statement currently does a good job, although I suspect we can (and will) find parts to debate.

Yes, the substitution effect is important. If we build appropriately with mass timber, we can offset use of concrete and steel, with real climate benefits. But the question on the table is whether current legal forestry is adequate to the climate challenge we all face.

As we look to raise the bar on what constitutes climate friendly (whether that means greater carbon sequestration, resilience, or likely both), we will need mechanisms that push against the commodity mindset. By definition, these will require new solutions to implement, such as the ideas Raphael raises.

I appreciate this forum for dialogue, as we work to define “climate friendly” and to identify solutions to the real sourcing challenges faced by the demand side of the industry.

Thanks all.


Great summary Brad. 100% agree with your points.


I agree with Brad’s points, and also very much appreciate Hardy’s inputs. The question of what constitutes “climate smart” or “climate friendly” forestry are very much at the heart of this Summit. The way I see it, the cruxes of a meaningful definition revolve around forest carbon storage and sequestration – do forest practices result in increases, decreases or maintenance of forest carbon pools – and the resistance/resilience of forests in the face of an inevitably changing climate, which is tied in turn to ecosystem complexity and biological diversity – do management practices maintain, increase or decrease them? In order to answer these questions, we need a baseline of comparison, and it seems like the obvious point of reference is the regulatory floor. This, however, varies according to geography – the forest practice rules of different states and provinces vary: some are “climate smarter” than others, but in all cases I think that what really matters is whether, and how far, we are reaching beyond them. Hard to measure, but an important goal!

This variability is one of the reasons I’m not a fan of terms like “climate smart” or “climate friendly” forestry because it frames things as a binary choice between a fixed set of “good” practices and the “climate dumb/unfriendly” status quo, when I believe that in fact what we have is a complex spectrum that arises from different baselines and whose characteristics vary according to numerous factors such as forest type, the starting condition of the managed forest, specific site conditions, etc. I prefer terms that reflect variability and relativity like “climate friendlier forestry” or “improved forest management.”

And then the really big challenge is how to make improvements in forest management pencil out, since, as Brad notes, ROI is generally highest for forest management at the regulatory floor. If the economics don’t work, we will never get change at the speed and scale that we need to effectively address the climate emergency.

Lastly, I think we should be clear that the issue of forest certification has long been divisive and this Summit is unlikely to overcome the disagreements around it. In the Vision statement as well as any proposals that may emerge from the Working Groups, choices will need to be made about how to treat certification – whether or not to put all systems on the same level or to differentiate between them through ranking or some other means.

WWF considers FSC the most stringent forest certification system, and that it should therefore be elevated in procurement strategies, policies and guidance for climate-friendlier forest products. Our position is based on our own internal analyses of and comments on both FSC and SFI standards; tours of forests certified under both systems; as well as academic research papers such as these:

Judge-Lord, D., McDermott, C. L., & Cashore, B. (2020). Do Private Regulations Ratchet Up? How to Distinguish Types of Regulatory Stringency and Patterns of Change.

Gutierrez Garzon, A. R., Bettinger, P., Siry, J., Abrams, J., Cieszewski, C., Boston, K., Mei, B., Zengin, H., & Yeşil, A. (2020). A Comparative Analysis of Five Forest Certification Programs. Forests, 11(8), 863.

Papers, reports or other forms of evidence that support different conclusions are very welcome. We need to have an open and informed discussion (that will no doubt turn at times into debate) in order to chart the best course forward.

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I appreciate Brad’s points, and WWF’s position is one we have repeatedly run into as we’ve done internal research to understand what our procurement goals should be. As architects, the chair we occupy is that of the direct client contact, and this discussion itself demonstrates the problem we run into all the time - the info available is muddy and the definition of what is “climate smart” wood is difficult for non-experts to understand, and therefore for us to explain.

I immediately think of tools and resources, and access to information I would love to provide clients with, such as:

  • What does a forest LOOK like at comparable times (eg. FSC, SFI, traditionally managed)?
  • What is the comparative carbon impact and how is that evolving (as LCA practices re: biogenic carbon are still developing)?
  • What are we hurting the MOST by not choosing (or choosing) one certification over another? Indigenous rights and livelihoods? Climate change? Biodiversity? Local economy?
  • How MUCH better is one option than another in any of these areas?

More information on these topics can help us better inform clients who are struggling to prioritize project line items.

It would also be helpful to better understand where the cost premiums come from. Could sustainable forest management at scale be more affordable? Is it a supply issue, or is it an overhead cost issue? What are the sources of those higher costs and how can we support foresters who are working towards “doing the right thing”?

Here’s a brief list of some challenges I’ve been thinking about, some of which intersect with the great discussion already posted.

  1. Understanding the different ways manufacturers source lumber (or lamstock) for their products. Jason’s and Hardy’s post is very insightful on how fractured it can be, although I’m sure it varies by manufacture, product type (glulam vs. clt vs. timbers, etc.), and scale of production. Would be great to understand or diagram out all the different pathways just to give folks an understanding of the complexity.

  2. The need to understand the differences in certification requirements and legal minimums by region/state.

  3. Once we understand what climate smart forestry is, or what kind of forestry we want to support, how do we actually get it into our projects?

  • Utilize certifications that use credit-swap systems (we’ll get into which ones meet criteria at some point I imagine)
  • Increase disclosure in the supply chain of the source forest - as folks have mentioned, this is difficult but not impossible. We’ve had success at various scales in both getting disclosure data on wood baskets, and achieving segregation. Understanding the forest of origin has been a huge priority of clients as of late, and this is something that certifications don’t provide. It’s a new way into this conversation that has a lot of potential. Luckily the two approaches aren’t mutually exclusive.
  1. Once we have disclosure, how do we have influence?
  • Disclosure only - if we’re just asking for where the wood came from, it likely came from a large mix of sources varying across the spectrum of responsible harvesting. So we get what we get, unless we target mills that we know are largely sourcing from responsible sources (like Vaagen, for example, or Yakama).
  • Disclosure with optimization - If mills are willing disclose wood basket information AND work with us on sourcing, there’s an opportunity for them to target certain landowners to ‘optimize’ the mix of their wood basket for the project. This can be from compliant harvests from within their typical supply chain, or even forging new relationships with landowners (we’ve had success with both). This also requires a lot of collaboration on scheduling and clear communication of harvest criteria, but its an easier ask than segregation and likely scales better.
  • Segregation - a big ask, but easier for some mills than others, and also works better at different scales of projects than others. Both segregation and the wood basket optimization route still need an understanding of what we consider as “climate smart” forestry to clearly articulate the criteria. Which puts us back at our age old debate of certifications or identifying certain practices that meet said criteria (which can align or not align with certifications). The need for verification is also an issue.
  1. How do design decisions affect procurement opportunities, particularly around sustainably sourced wood? Design decisions can have a big impact on sourcing availability and options, such as, to name a few:
  • Species
  • Product type (engineered vs. solid sawn, MPP vs. CLT, etc.)
  • Structural grade requirements and visual appearance desires
  • Dimensional lumber size
  1. How can we better understand availability and pricing earlier in the design process? Either for certified products or other?

Great points, Jacob! Building of some of them in a way I hope is helpful in advancing the discussion:

The task of the working groups is to clarify major challenges to progress and to identify solutions that are actionable by the stakeholders represented in the Summit.

I see the following big challenges for the procurement of climate smart wood products:

    1. Defining what climate smart means. We’ve already begun wrestling with this. Unless one considers all legal forestry in N. America is climate smart (in which case procurement is no problem – just buy off the shelf), then we need a definition.
    1. Identifying forestry operations that meet the definition. What basis will we use to decide which operations meet the definition. Third-party audits? Testimonials by experts we trust? Tours? The assurances of the landowners themselves?
    1. Figuring out how to support those operations through procurement. The most obvious way to do this is to buy wood from them, but this can be very challenging given the way forest industry supply chains are constructed and the tight specifications for wood used by mass timber manufacturers. The latter mean that only a small subset of overall supply can be used, and the former is set up to deliver that subset through a multi-stage sorting process that requires mixing and making getting all wood from specific forests hard. What are the alternatives, i.e. how might we support climate smart forestry operations less directly or indirectly?
    1. Persuading clients to play ball. Unless all legal wood is climate smart, procuring wood in ways that support climate smart forestry will mean extra cost and more hassle. Are we in a position to make an effective case for this today? What prevents us from doing it (e.g. lack of ability to quantify the carbon benefits of climate smart forestry in LCA/EPDs)?

The beauty of forest certification is that it solves problems 1, 2 and 3. A certification system’s forest management standard defines acceptable forestry; operations that meet the definition are identified through third-party audits; and chain of custody provides a means to support certified operations through procurement (directly through transfer/segregation systems and indirectly through volume credit systems).

4 remains a challenge, especially where costs are higher and availability limited as is the case with FSC. Costs are much lower – often the same as non-certified – for SFI, and availability much less of a challenge (which of course begs the question: why?).

But we know there are many forestry operations practicing improved forest management – in some cases, very climate smart forestry indeed – that do not choose to get certified for various reasons. How to identify and support them through procurement?

It seems like it could help to develop a menu of options. I’d hate it if such a menu were to undermine market support for high-bar forest certification, which I consider a superior option for a number of reasons. But I think we do need alternatives, and if others in this group agree: what belongs on the menu?

I’ll take a stab at this Helen.

  • What does a forest LOOK like at comparable times (eg. FSC, SFI, traditionally managed)?

Difficult to generalize, but if we are talking about even-age management (there’s a subtle distinction based on whether or not the planted species are native), in general after 40 or 50 years when trees have matured somewhat and are close to being harvested, an FSC forest will have more structural and ecological diversity because of retention requirements (you have to leave more trees behind after harvest), smaller limits on clearcuts, requirements for larger riparian buffers, requirements to manage a percentage of plantations toward natural forest characteristics, etc. I honestly am not aware that a forest managed at the bottom limit of the SFI FM standard will look different than a forest managed at the regulatory floor – if there are differences, I think they’d be relatively subtle.

  • What is the comparative carbon impact and how is that evolving (as LCA practices re: biogenic carbon are still developing)?

The Measuring Progress and Forest Carbon working groups are focused on this. FSC is working on it also, building off the attached Ecotrust study that shows that FSC in western Oregon and Washington stores about 40% more carbon than BAU (business as usual). There are also protocols for calculating the difference in carbon storage between what a forestry operation is doing (and makes a binding commitment to do in the future) and BAU that is used to calculate the number of offset credits that a registered forest carbon project is awarded. The difference is called additionally – more additionally = more credits.

  • What are we hurting the MOST by not choosing (or choosing) one certification over another? Indigenous rights and livelihoods? Climate change? Biodiversity? Local economy?

I think it’s hard to generalize about this – it depends a lot on what’s happening in a given geography… The easiest way to get at this might be through the studies comparing the standards, e.g.

  • How MUCH better is one option than another in any of these areas? Again, the best way to get at this is to compare the standards, but what really matters is outcomes and these can be hard to measure.

Could sustainable forest management at scale be more affordable?

All depends on the definition of “sustainable forest management,” where that benchmark is relative to the regulatory floor, and whether there are adequate financial incentives (market preference, carbon markets, tax breaks) to do it.

Is it a supply issue, or is it an overhead cost issue?

It’s a supply issue insofar as it places a limit on how much timber we can get from the forest, and climate smart forestry could reduce yield per acre depending on the definition. But mostly I think it’s a cost issue.

What are the sources of those higher costs and how can we support foresters who are working towards “doing the right thing”?

Some of the additional costs are direct – e.g. having to pay for audits, having to take measures in regard to the protection high-conservation values such as studies and plans that are above and beyond what’s required by law, or having to pay more for a relatively benign herbicide or do more, relatively expensive manual/mechanical thinning because the cheaper, more effective, more toxic chemicals are prohibited. But I think the bigger costs could be indirect, and the biggest one may be the opportunity cost of having to leave more forest standing across an ownership than is required by law.


A couple responses to your questions:

  • FSC created the following video to try to help people understand the differences between FSC and conventional forestry. This should give you a sense of what the differences look like. While we don’t say it in the video, the big clearcut is certified by our competitor.

It is always tricky to try to generalize forestry, even FSC certified forestry, as forest ecology varies and managers bring their own experience and perspective. But we tried to highlight the visual differenced here:

  • FSC is just about to embark on a ~9-month research project to quantify additionality due to FSC certification. If you want to stay up to date on this work, sign up for the consultative forum: FSC Forest Carbon Research Consultative Forum

  • The differences between FSC and conventional (or competing certifications) varies by region and state, as forest practices in the US are largely set at the state level.

However, the big areas of difference in FSC vs conventional, generally speaking, include:

  • Buffers (unharvested trees) along rivers, streams and lakes tend to be larger.
  • Protections for High Conservation Values (including rare old growth forest) are more rigorous.
  • Habitat set asides to protect not-only threatened and endangered species (those formally listed under the ESA), but also rare species with populations declining and at risk of being listed under the ESA.
  • Smaller opening sizes (clearcuts), with more retention (standing trees).
  • Fewer hazardous pesticides, more tightly restricted in use. For example, atrazine is one of the most common chemicals in US forestry, although it is banned in the EU because it is bio-accumulative and endocrine disrupting. Likely carcinogen too. But in the US, it is common to spray atrazine by airplane or helicopter, with over-spray issues impacting human and environmental health. Atrazine is prohibited in FSC forests. (Check out this Public Radio International story to get a sense of the problem).
  • Greater age class and tree species diversity.

All of these requirements suggest a carbon benefit, along with ecological and social benefits. How big an impact is exactly what our research is trying to answer.

Happy to discuss if you’d ever like to dig into the details.


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Hi all,

Glad to see a conversation developing. The conversation has shifted towards certification, which is natural in any procurement discussion, but is not the main focus of the working group. Certification is one “how” in terms of addressing some of the challenges of procurement, and we’d like to focus on the “what” and the “why” - what challenges are we having with procurement and why are we having those challenges? That said, an initial list of challenges has been started in this thread and on Working Group calls and is quite comprehensive, so thank you all for starting on that and please continue to add additional challenges to this conversation.

Since differences in certifications has been brought up, we think it’s important to acknowledge that we do have FSC representation in this conversation, but not SFI and PEFC representatives, which is something to keep in mind as we move forward. On that note, we’ve asked additional Summit participants to join our Working Group to bring additional perspectives on this subtopic.


Hi Lindsay,

If you think I could add value, I am happy to do so.
I had a very pleasant conversation with Helen Brennek today. I hadn’t realized she is also involved. (Although we spent time talking about calculus, kids, noise, working at home and hobbies, too. It wasn’t all work.)


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Thanks all for the responses - I’ll be digging into the various references and links, and would truly appreciate (either directly or in this forum) hearing from advocates for certifications other than FSC as I gather as much info as possible to inform our team.

In asking for tangible, visible differences between the options available, what I’m really getting at is the difficulty we experience in trying to define and justify climate smart wood procurement to clients. No one seems able to agree on what sustainable forestry looks like, so architects and developers struggle to describe exactly what is and isn’t okay to procure. I think this is the biggest part of the “What” Lindsay refers to, and we all seem to agree that a definition of some sort is needed.

In the interests of addressing information gaps and suggesting potential solutions for this working group, a couple ideas for outputs/resources are as follows:

  • A definition of what climate improved forestry is and will be, understanding that all certifications are somewhere on a spectrum. It’s okay if what’s available today isn’t perfect in every way. But let’s understand where best practices are at and where we eventually want them to go. If it’s a journey from conventional to sustainable forestry, can we chart a rough map?
  • A tool that summarizes forestry regulations/practices by state and province for North America. We prioritize local sourcing and work all over the continent - it would be so helpful to know where different regulatory bodies stand.
  • I hesitate to suggest this because I don’t want to create a new qualification, but a database of foresters/forests that includes their value proposition as it relates to social equity and environmental sustainability. Where groups that aren’t (for example) certified FSC but are working to manage their forest sustainably, groups that are minority owned or run by First Nations, can be found and searched for based on their region and those unique characteristics.

I welcome thoughts and comments re: these resources, (or re: noisy children, hobbies, and calculus @pmoonen1 ).

Thanks Lindsay.

I think that is a good idea. There is a spectrum of performance within each certification system and between each certification system. This is an issue that has been swirling around for 28 years and is not going to be easily resolved — even by really dedicated, talented and well-intentioned professionals — in just a few weeks.

More importantly, in my opinion, should be whether the differences that may (or may not) be discernible between different certification systems are greater or smaller than the differences posed by using alternate materials, most of which do NOT have an extraction certification program.

Perhaps we can find areas of agreement we can commit to and then use those to help resolve our differences even if it means we agree to disagree.



  • A definition of what climate improved forestry is and will be, understanding that all certifications are somewhere on a spectrum. It’s okay if what’s available today isn’t perfect in every way. But let’s understand where best practices are at and where we eventually want them to go. If it’s a journey from conventional to sustainable forestry, can we chart a rough map?

One resource we could consider is the book Ecological Forest Management by Jerry Franklin, Norman Johnson and Deborah Johnson. It is recent, 2018. The difficulty is that we can’t link to its contents for obvious reasons, but we might be able get permission to use some of them. In chapter 1, “Sustaining Forests and their Benefits,” starting on pg. 6, Franklin et al. “define ecological forestry by identifying some of its principles, goals, and practices, and by contrasting it with management designed to optimize efficient production of wood fiber for economic gain, which we will label production forestry. We do not intend ‘production forestry’ to be a pejorative label; rather, we use the term to provide a contrast with management that is designed to sustain or restore multiple forest benefits.”

The authors go on to compare the conceptual foundation of these two approaches to forestry as follows:

"Ecological forestry uses ecological models from natural forest systems as the basis for managing forests. It incorporates principles of natural forest development, including the role of natural disturbances, in the initiation, development, and maintenance of forests and forest landscape mosaics. Most importantly, ecological forestry recognizes that forests are ecosystems with diverse biota, complex structure, and multiple functions, and not simply a collection of trees valuable primarily for the production of wood. In doing so it seeks to maintain the fundamental capacities (integrity) of the forest ecosystems to which it is applied.

“Production forestry utilizes agronomic and economic models as a basis for managing forests. It combines farming principles with rate of return analysis to find the amount and spatial organization of capital that will best achieve desired economic outcomes. In production forestry the forest, which is generally a plantation, is viewed as a collection of trees that are managed for the economically efficient production of wood. Consideration of other values is limited to what society requires.”

  • A tool that summarizes forestry regulations/practices by state and province for North America. We prioritize local sourcing and work all over the continent - it would be so helpful to know where different regulatory bodies stand.

This appears quite doable and could be one of the solutions brought forward by our working group. It seems to me that it would be most useful for the purposes of climate smarter wood procurement if the regs were rated or ranked against some set of (relatively) objective criteria.

  • I hesitate to suggest this because I don’t want to create a new qualification, but a database of foresters/forests that includes their value proposition as it relates to social equity and environmental sustainability. Where groups that aren’t (for example) certified FSC but are working to manage their forest sustainably, groups that are minority owned or run by First Nations, can be found and searched for based on their region and those unique characteristics.

This one seems hard. There are so many forestland owners. In the U.S., 36% of the forest is owned by families – more than any other ownership type – and there are more than 10 million family forest ownerships!

I put up some materials on state activities for all states and territories. If you don’t see it let me know - i think I put it under new topic and not here.