Conservation Members of SFI Board Release Open Letter on ForestEthics.

Earlier today, the conservation chamber of SFI’s Board of Directors sent an open letter to media regarding ForestEthics.  The letter is below.   I encourage you to demonstrate your support by commenting on this letter, the SFI program and all the great work the more than 2,500 organizations involved in our program do.

An open letter from the Conservation Chamber of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Board

As members of the Conservation Chamber of SFI’s Board of Directors, we take strong exception to ForestEthics’ current campaign against SFI.

It is precisely the power of SFI to sustain fish and wildlife, biodiversity, water quality and ecosystem functions (including mitigating and adapting to climate change) on 180 million acres of forest throughout North America that motivates us to serve on SFI’s board. By serving, we help SFI continue to improve an already strong mechanism to conserve forests and their environmental values.

Groups that spread misinformation about SFI could well be harming the forest environment. SFI provides a tremendous amount of on-the-ground conservation value – a value North Americans care deeply about. We believe SFI and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) are both excellent mechanisms that improve the environmental (and social and economic) values provided by forests. There is room and need for both programs.

The six of us who serve on the Environmental Chamber of the SFI Board have dedicated our lives to conservation. We would not be on the SFI Board if we did not believe it is a credible forest certification program, which we are able to advise and guide through our combined and diverse conservation expertise.


George H. Finney, Ph. D
Bird Studies CanadaBird Studies Canada
John M. Hagan, Ph.D.
Manomet Center for Conservation SciencesManomet Center for Conservation Sciences
Roger Sedjo, Ph. D
Senior Fellow
Resources for the FutureResources for the Future
Thomas M. Franklin
Senior Director of Science and Policy
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation PartnershipTheodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Lawrence A. Selzer
President and CEO
The Conservation FundThe Conservation Fund
Mike Zagata, Ph. D
President and CEO
Ruffed Grouse SocietyRuffed Grouse Society

9 thoughts on “Conservation Members of SFI Board Release Open Letter on ForestEthics.

  1. I strongly support SFI and all the GREAT work they do for our forest and wildlife and i am completely behind the open letter.

    Jim Painter
    U.S. Corrugated, Inc.

  2. It would seem “ForestEthics” is risking becoming an oxymoron.

    We all need to consider: Shall we work to serve the true good of our environment and the people who live in it, or merely serve our own interests? Once the obviously correct answer is reached, let’s commit to it and do it, collaborating with others to accomplish the worthy goal, rather than working at cross purposes to the goal through misinformation and misdirected brand-building efforts.

  3. Pingback: Conservation Members of SFI Board Release Open Letter on ForestEthics « Sustainable Forestry Initiative Newsroom

  4. Sustainable harvesting in forests actually helps preserve forests! When forests are economically important,the forest is valued as an ongoing source of wealth. Reforestation is practiced,successionally dynamic landscapes are created and wildlife flourishes.

  5. I am curious as to why this “open letter” is being published at this particular time? The forest industry and many of the groups associated with it continually suffer from miss informed media coverage, we are usually under scrutiny from media representatives who have little or very limited knowledge of the practice of or legislation concerning forest land and ecosystem management. So why now? And why not release a letter that highlights some of the steps we take to ensure forests and bio-diversity for the future so as to give the media some updated knowledge?

  6. ForestEthics campaign sad because it is shrill, nonobjective and ignores the outcomes of multiple comparisons of SFI & FSC protocols (which in all cases I’ve seen, conclude that there are no significant differences).

    Both get funding from industry and both promote proven and essentially the same “Best Management Practices”?

    I, for one like, the idea of having multiple certification programs…it provides balance. If all but one program is shunned, as ForestEthics seems to be promoting, then the result will be an environmental theocracy which generally reults in corruption.

  7. I would like to invite Todd Paglia, E.D. of Forest Ethics, to attend the SFI conventions, as I have, as an attendee and speaker on green topics. (Todd, the next one is in Burlington VT and I’ll even take you out to dinner.) Were he to see all that SFI does, and the quality of the people / presentations, I think Mr. Paglia would be enormously impressed by SFIs independence and commitment to green practices. Years ago, I too had my doubts, but the more I got to know SFI, the clearer it became that their intentions were honorable and the organization is very independent. I add this comment as a noted green building expert, with two+ decades of experience, and as the author of 12 books and nearly 1500 articles in trade journals that cover construction.

  8. Pingback: What to Do When ForestEthics Comes Knocking? « Sustainable Forestry Initiative Newsroom

  9. Everyone – thanks for your comments! Danielle, with regard to why there is an open letter right now, the conservation arm of our board wanted to reach out directly in response to misinformation that ForestEthics has been putting out about SFI. However, at SFI we are always working with our networks – including media – to explain the SFI program and the approach to forest management within the standard. You are right – educating the public about the steps taken to ensure forests and bio-diversity for the future is very important. A part of the way we do that is through outreach regarding our conservation and community grant program, as well as our community outreach through the grassroots network of implementation committees. Thanks again for your comment.

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