Posted by Allison Welde, SFI Director, Conservation Partnerships
We just launched our 2012 Request for Proposals for the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program, which supports research and outreach to advance responsible forestry. This year we are looking for projects that will strengthen the role of SFI certification in protecting water resources and helping resource managers respond to climate change.
SFI Inc. has invested more than $1.1 million in conservation grants since 2010 – and the amazing response to each of the RFPs shows the value of the program. Unfortunately our success in the first two years means the 2012 budget is limited to $85,000 for new projects. That’s because a lot of the work we supported in 2010 and 2011 involved multi-year projects that are continuing this year – for example, Clemson University is helping South Carolina landowners improve wildlife habitat and Ducks Unlimited Canada is leading development of best practices for forestry roads that protect boreal wetlands.
In addition to our conservation grants, we will invest $35,000 in community grants this year – it will go to identified projects aimed at encouraging young people to get involved in forestry and natural resource activities and careers.
The SFI conservation grant program is such a fantastic way to bring together conservation groups, resource managers and government agencies to address topics of current importance — like water resources and climate change – and build knowledge that will help SFI program participants improve forest practices. More than 125 organizations are partners in the 24 projects we have funded to date, and their involvement is expected to leverage additional resources to achieve a total value of $4.2 million.