With about 90 percent of Maine covered by forests, it is no surprise that the citizens of Maine want to know that the people who own and work in the Maine woods are managing them with an eye toward keeping them productive for the present and sustained for future generations.
That’s where the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) comes in. SFI is a program designed to ensure that forests in Maine and across the country are managed sustainably. The Program fosters continuous improvement in forest management by requiring forest professionals – including landowners, loggers, and mill owners – to commit to ongoing research, continuing professional education, and consistent communication with the general public concerning developments within the SFI Program.
Please join other SFI members in helping Pine Tree Camp build new cabins
By Erin Rice, Marketing and Development Director, Pine Tree Society
Pat Sirois invited me to attend a SFI meeting to share information about Pine Tree Camp, a summer camp for Maine children and adults with disabilities located on 285-acres in Rome. Just 20 minutes from the Maine Forest Products Council office, Pine Tree Camp transforms the lives of more than 600 Mainers each summer (watch video above). During their stay, their families benefit from a six-day respite. Often it is the only break they receive all year long.
The focus of my visit to SFI was to share Pine Tree Camp vision for the future and explore how the organization might be able to get involved. I shared with the group that there were opportunities for donation of materials to benefit the construction.
Pine Tree Camp’s facility is aging and its buildings, many dating back to the 1950s, are poorly ventilated and lack the accessibility that our campers require. At the same time, our campers’ needs are increasing making our hot stuffy buildings not only uncomfortable but dangerous. In 2009, Pine Tree Camp embarked on a mission to transform its campus. A number of critical projects have been completed, in fact the project is nearly complete.
In July 2014, Pine Tree Camp officially opened the first of five new camper cabins. Two more are being constructed now.
The feedback from SFI members has been incredible. In fact, following the meeting both Huber Engineered Woods and Seven Islands made substantial generous donation of materials necessary for our projects. We invite SFI and Maine Forest Products Council members to join Huber and Seven Islands in support of Pine Tree Camp with a goal of having a cabin named for the organization.
“Seeing the campers in the Pine Tree Camp environment is truly moving experience,” Sirois said. “Maine’s SFI committee is thrilled to be able to play a part in supporting the camp and the individuals who attend. SFI members have learned that PTC is a long standing member of the forestry community with their own working woodlot, certified to the American Tree Farm System. Proceeds from periodic harvests support the camp’s mission. So when contemplating a donation, either of building materials or a cash contribution, please understand that Pine Tree Camp is not only an amazing place for the campers and families it serves, but an active member of our extended forest family.”
FIN FACTS: Fisheries Improvement Network … click here for more Information …
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Program was a response to the public’s obvious concern about the long-term sustainability of the country’s forest resources.
In practice, the SFI program involves the development and implementation of forest management standards that, in addition to requiring sustainable levels of forest harvesting, are dedicated to, among other things:
- the protection of water quality
- the management of wildlife habitat
- the protection of rare plants
- the conservation of biodiversity
- the application of science-based forestry and
- the protection of soil productivity
In broader terms, the five underlying principles of SFI are to:
- Meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations.
- Promote environmentally and economically responsible practices.
- Improve forest health and productivity.
- Manage our forests to protect their special qualities.
- Continuously improve forest management and measure progress.
SFI Inc. is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) program. Across the United States and Canada, 240 million acres /nearly 100 million hectares are certified to the SFI forest management standard. In addition, the SFI program’s unique fiber sourcing requirements promote responsible forest management on all suppliers’ lands. SFI chain of custody (COC) certification tracks the percentage of fiber from certified forests, certified sourcing and post-consumer recycled content. SFI on product labels identify both certified sourcing and COC claims to help consumers make responsible purchasing decisions. SFI Inc. is governed by a three chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally. Learn more at http://www.sfiprogram.org/ and http://sfiprogram.org/BuySFI.