SCS Global Services Seeks Stakeholder Input

Summary: As part of an upcoming Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC®) certification evaluation, forest certification auditor SCS Global Services is seeking stakeholder input regarding the forest management program and practices of State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Managed Forest Law (MFL) program.

Please direct comments to Brendan Grady (SCS Director of Forest Management) and Beth Jacqmain (FSC Lead Auditor) at FSCConsultation@scsglobalservices.com.  You may mail comments to them at 2000 Powell Street, Suite 600, Emeryville, CA 94608 or reach them via telephone at (510) 452-8034.

In continuation with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) endorsed forest management certification, the Managed Forest Law program will be undergoing an audit during the week of August 14, 2023 for Wisconsin’s Managed Forest Law (MFL) Certified Group. The audit will be conducted by SCS Global Services, a FSC-accredited certification body. The Forest Stewardship Council 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 Managed Forest Law (MFL) Certified Group is a collection of more than 34,000 private landowners with 2.4 million acres of primarily family forest land enrolled in MFL. Adopted into Wisconsin State Statute in 1985, Wisconsin’s MFL programs extend special property tax treatments with the intent to encourage sound forestry practices for the production of forest products on private lands. Certified MFL lands are scattered across the state in 71 out of 72 counties. The Wisconsin DNR offers forest certification through the MFL Certified Group as a voluntary opportunity available for MFL landowners to participate in forest certification. The forest types, management objectives, and forestry practices are as varied as the thousands of participating landowners. However, these landowners go above and beyond the robust sound forestry requirements of MFL to achieve a level of sustainable forest management that holds up to independent evaluation with Forest Stewardship Council® and American Tree Farm System® standards.

Scope and Certification Evaluation Process
SCS Global Services (SCS), a FSC-accredited certification body based in California, will conduct this FSC Main Evaluation.

Performance will be evaluated against the FSC-US Forest Management Standard V1-0. A copy of the standard is available from http://www.scsglobalservices.com/certification-standards-and-program-documents or SCS upon request.

The evaluation process includes the following components:

  • Public notification: distribution of the standard and solicitation of comments on the certification State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, MFL; Audit planning and document review;
  • Field assessment: A representative sample of field sites and operations within the defined forest area are inspected by a team of auditors;
  • Stakeholder consultation is carried out prior to and during the field assessment;
  • Synthesis of findings: conformity to the standard is ascertained and the certification decision is formulated;
  • Reporting: a draft report describing the evaluation process, findings, and certification decision is produced;
  • Peer review: the draft evaluation report is peer reviewed by 1 or 2 independent natural resource professionals;
  • Finalization of the report and conveyance to the SCS Certification Committee for the final certification decision;
  • Certification decision: the final report and certification decision is conveyed to the State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, MFL; a public summary of the certification report is released if certification is awarded.

Call for Public Participation
SCS is seeking comments on the forest management of State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, MFL or other topics pertinent to their seeking FSC certification, such as whether State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, MFL complies with the legal, social, technical, and environmental requirements of the standard or identification of high conservation value forests[1] within the lands managed by Wisconsin’s Managed Forest Law (MFL) Certified Group. Comments can be submitted via email to FSCConsultation@scsglobalservices.com, standard mail, or facsimile. All comments and sources will be kept in strict confidence at the request of the commenter. Also, please feel welcome to forward this message on to other stakeholders that you think may have an interest in sharing their perspective on this assessment.

Date of the Evaluation
The field evaluation is scheduled to start the week of August 14, 2023. When possible, SCS will make arrangements to meet with interested parties during the evaluation if appropriate, but it is preferred that comments are submitted before the field evaluation commences.

Dispute Resolution Procedure
As provided by the FSC Interim Dispute Resolution Protocol and the SCS Forest Conservation Program Quality Manual, dispute resolution procedures are in place and available to interested parties at http://www.scsglobalservices.com/your-feedback.

Additional Information
More information about FSC and SCS can be obtained from www.fsc.org and www.SCSglobalServices.com. Learn more about the MFL Certified Group on the Wisconsin DNR website.

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