Grant invests in logging certification to support the green economy


Courtesy of The Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine

The Future Forest Economy Initiative is investing $ 250,000 to improve certified timber markets and strengthen the timber supply chain in the Northern Forest region through a grant to the Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands (TCNEF).

“Only a fraction of the forest land in our region is certified green,” said Joe Short, vice president of the Northern Forest Center, which manages the Future Forest Economy program. “Certification of forestry companies through TCNEF’s Master Logger program will increase the volume of certified and sustainably harvested timber available to sawmills in the region. Certified land alone is not sufficient to meet the demand for certified timber in the region.

The three-year grant will allow TCNEF to expand the ranks of certified Master Logger companies in the region, with a focus on New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. The Master Logger program improves lumberjack performance, business financial stability, and workforce development and retention while increasing the supply of certified wood fiber.

“The TCNEF is thrilled with the opportunity to increase the ranks of third-party certified logging companies in the Northern Forest Region,” said Ted Wright, Executive Director of TCNEF. “Master loggers have a proven track record of professionalism, stewardship and stimulating local economies. ”

The Future Forest Initiative – a cooperative effort of the United States Economic Development Administration (EDA), the American Foundation for Forestry and Communities, and the Northern Forest Center – arose out of a Congressional mandate to to support the development of markets for wood products. This is the fourth grant in a three-year program that will invest $ 2.6 million to develop innovation, create market demand and create conditions that will allow businesses and communities to benefit from these innovations. The Northeast Master Logger program is a performance-based certification for forestry companies in seven northeastern states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. It provides a unique third-party certification of a forestry company’s work in the woods rather than certifying forest land like other programs do.

“Our program educates and trains forestry companies on best management practices to promote responsible timber harvesting, forest management and environmental stewardship in accordance with Master Logger standards,” said Wright. “The more master loggers we have working in the woods, the better able we will be to meet the growing demand for certified fiber.

To date, the program has certified 120 companies that employ 1,500 people and produce 6 million tonnes of green timber each year. The Professional Logging Contractors of Maine started the program, now run by the TCNEF, in 2000. More information about the Northeast Master Logger certification program is available at masterloggercertification.com.

“Landowners, loggers and wood product manufacturers in northern New England need new markets for harvested wood, and at the same time, the demand is greater than the supply of certified wood from the United States. region, ”said Alicia Cramer, vice president of the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities. “This grant meets both needs.

In 2020, the Future Forest Economy Initiative awarded three grants that generate investments of $ 1.7 million in the region’s forest economy. FFEI provided $ 450,000 to the town of Ashland, Maine, to expand markets for round lumber, a solid lumber construction product; $ 300,000 to a wood-burning marketing consortium aimed at increasing the demand for wood-burning fuels in the region by 50%; and $ 97,840 to the Burlington Electrical Department (VT) for design and pre-engineering to advance a wood-fired district heating system to service the University of Vermont Medical Center. All together, the four grant recipients and others combine the Future Forest Economy grants with $ 1.1 million in matching funds, bringing the total investment in new wood uses and commercialization to 2.2. millions of dollars. Funding for the program comes from the US Economic Development Administration and a $ 3 million Congressional credit obtained by the region’s Congressional delegation in the 2018 federal fiscal year, which asked the agency to support the development of markets for wood products in areas of northern Maine, New Hampshire. , Vermont and New York. Federal funds are complemented by $ 300,000 from the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities to help cover the costs of developing and administering the project.

The Northern Forest Center is a regional innovation leader and investment partner that creates rural vibrancy by connecting people and the economy to the forest landscape. For more information, visit www.northernforest.org. The US Endowment for Forestry and Communities is a public, non-profit charitable organization that works collaboratively with public and private sector partners to advance systemic, transformative and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests. and forest-dependent communities. . Visit www.usendowment.org.

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