LandVest’s Timberland Division is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) Forest Management and Chain of Custody Standards - FSC® C120428 under the Group Manager option. Forest certification is a voluntary third-party process to identify and recognize well-managed forestland. LandVest’s forest management policies, procedures, and field operations have been repeatedly compared to an established set of rigorous standards which address the social, environmental and economic impacts of forests and surrounding communities.

The Group Manager option allows any property that LandVest manages to become certified as long as the standard is met. The initial group established in 2014 included 9 properties covering 35,475 acres in four northeast states. Property size ranged from just under 200 acres to over 15,000 acres. By 2018, the group had grown to 16 members covering more than 124,400 acres in five states. Individual forest owners can choose to acquire their own certificate, but the costs are significantly higher. Due to the significant growth we have seen over the last five years, we have been able to drastically reduce the cost of entry into the group.

Through chain-of-custody, fiber from certified forestland can move through production streams, thus enabling the end-product to receive the checkmark logo shown above informing customers that the product came from a certified, well-managed forest and was manufactured responsibly. Local market premiums for certified forest products help to offset certification costs, and in some cases make it a profitable venture.

Other benefits of certification include:

  • Independent third-party audit of forest management systems
  • Increased market access & market share
  • Accepted standard for easements and regulation in some situations
  • Compliance with fiber supply agreements
  • Satisfies investor/owner environmental ethics

The ten principles which formulate the nearly 200 indicators which must be met for certification are:

  • Compliance with laws and FSC principles
  • Rights and responsibilities relating to land tenure and use
  • Indigenous peoples’ rights
  • Community relations and workers' rights
  • Benefits from the forest
  • Environmental impact
  • Management plan
  • Monitoring and assessment
  • Maintenance of high conservation value forests
  • Plantations (responsible management of)

LandVest has been managing certified land for nearly two decades. We are currently the primary manager on over 700,000 acres of certified lands. We have been through numerous audits across the region in which we work. LandVest and the members of its group are committed to managing forests in accordance with the terms of the Forest Stewardship Council’s US Forest Management Standard. This includes a commitment to the implementation of the FSC Principles and Criteria. We have built a company culture focused on standardization of methods, consistency of product, and flexibility in implementation.

If you would like to comment, learn more about or join the LandVest Forest Certification Group, please find your local LandVest forester at http://www.landvesttimberland.com/about_landvest/office_locations/ or contact Jack Santamour at 315-376-2832 or jsantamour@landvest.com.