Friday, August 13, 2010

State Forest Certification Public Meeting and Site Evaluation

 As part of a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Main Assessment, SCS is seeking stakeholder input regarding the Ohio State Forests (managed by Ohio DNR-Division of Forestry). SCS encourages comments related to conformance with the legal, social, technical, and environmental requirements of the FSC US Forest Management Standard. You can comment via email/fax/mail or call to discuss (contact info below).


As a part of the assessment process- there will be a public meeting on Wednesday, September 15 @ 7:00-8:30 p.m. All interested individuals and groups are welcome to attend.

Public Meeting Location:

Comfort Inn- Christopher Conference Center (Wexford Ballroom) 20 Plaza Boulevard, Chillicothe, OH 45601 Phone: (740) 775-3500

Additional Details on the FSC Assessment:

The Ohio DNR-Division of Forestry is seeking Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) endorsed certification for the State Forests of Ohio. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-profit organization devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC sets standards that ensure forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable way. The State of Ohio has over 185,000 acres of forestland. This is divided into 20 state forests, ranging from 700 acres to over 64,000 acres in size. The 185,000 acres span 21 counties, mostly in the Ohio’s un-glaciated south eastern region.

Scope and Certification Evaluation Process:

Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), a FSC-accredited certification body based in Emeryville, California, will conduct this FSC evaluation. Performance will be evaluated against the FSC US Forest Management Standard V.1.0. A copy of the standard is available from http://www.fscus.org/standards_criteria/forest_management.php

The Evaluation Process Includes the Following Phases:

a) Public notification and solicitation of comments on the certification applicant
b) Audit planning and document review
c) Field assessment - A representative sample of field sites and operations within the defined forest area are inspected
d) Stakeholder consultation through public meeting, written comments, and interviews
e) Synthesis of findings – Compliance with the standard is ascertained and the certification decision is formulated
f) Draft report – A report describing the evaluation process, findings, and certification decision is produced
g) Peer review – The evaluation report is peer reviewed by an independent natural resource professional
h) Delivery of final certification report
i) Public summary of certification report is released, if certification is awarded.

Evaluation Team:

Robert j. Hrubes, Ph.D.: FSC Lead Auditor
Mike Ferrucci: SFI Lead Auditor
Andy Dickerson: FSC/SFI Ecologist
Gary Zimmer: FSC/SFI Biologist

Call for Public Participation:

SCS welcomes comments on the forest management of The Ohio DNR-Division of Forestry or other topics pertinent to their seeking FSC certification, such as whether the Ohio DNR-Division of Forestry complies with the legal, social, technical, and environmental requirements of the standard or identification of high conservation value forests within the lands of the State of Ohio. Comments can be submitted via email, standard mail, or facsimile to Robert J. Hrubes. All comments will be kept in strict confidence at the request of the commenter.

The field evaluation is scheduled to commence during the week of September 13, 2010. Please submit any written comments prior to September 13.

Dispute Resolution Procedure:

As provided by the FSC Interim Dispute Resolution Protocol (Document 1.4.3) and the SCS Forest Conservation Program Quality Manual, dispute resolution procedures are in place and available to interested parties.

Additional Information:

More information about FSC and SCS can be obtained from www.fsc.org and www.scscertified.com. Information about the Ohio DNR-Division of Forestry can be found at http://www.dnr.state.oh.us

14 comments:

Scott Bagley said...

Any news from the FSC Assessment meeting?

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