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April 4, 2020

3/11/2020 2:29:00 PM
Managing our state forests
Indiana DNR gets high marks again

The Indiana Depart­ment of Natural Re­sources (DNR) Division of Forestry's management of Indiana's state forests has met or exceeded standards set by two independent certification agencies for the 13th consecutive year.

The certifying agencies are the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®-C012858) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) program. The DNR Division of Forestry has met or exceeded both organizations' certification standards since 2007.

"Without question, our 158,000 acres of state forest were judged 'well managed' and this continued certification should be viewed similarly by all Hoosiers as a job well done," said DNR director Cameron Clark. "I commend the Division of Forestry for its hard work in meeting all the requirements of both management standards."

SFI program establishes North American standards for sustainable forestry practices, and FSC establishes international and domestic standards for sustainable forestry practices. SFI and FSC certifications ensure wood products from state forests are grown in a sustainable and well managed manner.

Two auditors spent four days in fall 2019 reviewing office plans and supporting documents, and touring forest sites to evaluate forest management practices on site. Sites are chosen by the auditors from a list of activities that were completed in the past three years or currently active. The review focused on Yellowwood, Morgan-Monroe, Owen-Putman, Greene-Sullivan and Salamonie River state forests.

The auditors were looking for conformance to FSC's 10 principles with 192 indicators, and SFI program's 13 objectives with 102 indicators. The review covers a wide variety of topics, including wildlife management, forest management, worker safety, archaeological site protection, endangered species protection, public input and water quality.

Auditor's notes highlighted that best management practices and cultural site protection exceed certification standards, and there were no suggestions of any corrective actions. The auditors also noted that the 2019 results warranted the continuance of Indiana DNR's certification.

Auditor's notes also said that DNR employees interviewed during the audit consistently demonstrated a high level of commitment to forest stewardship of the state lands under their management.

Both reports are available online at dnr.IN.gov/dnr/forestry/7532.htm.

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