Harvest levels do not exceed the long-term sustainable productivity and capacity of the forest.
Responsible personnel are appropriately trained in sourcing wood from legal and sustainable sources.
Forestry and forest products make a significant contribution to the local economy.
Forest inventory data for the U.S. Hardwood Region shows that hardwood inventories have increased over the last decade by over 8%, with almost all hardwood producing states showing stable or increasing inventory volumes.
Inventory data show that the standing inventory or volume of growing trees in U.S. forests has grown by 50% between 1953 and 2011.
FIA data also show that forest growth generally exceeds harvest and that the amount of forest land is stable.
The majority of logging contractors across the hardwoods region are considered Qualified Logging Professionals. Some state logging associations sponsor independent certification programs for loggers.
The American Loggers Council (ALC) has a Code of Conduct that requires its members to participate in training programs: http://amloggers.com/about_alc.php
Hardwood management and harvesting makes a significant contribution to employment by loggers, harvesters and processors, trucking companies and income to landowners.
The forest products industry in general contributes over $200 billion annually to the U.S. economy; U.S. hardwood exports totaled over $3 billion in 2016; one out of every 5 dollars generated by the U.S. hardwood industry is related to export.
Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment, Section 3: The U.S. hardwood sector has not been specifically targeted by environmental campaigns and the FIA data show favorable sustainability conditions overall regarding U.S. hardwood supply.
Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment: Section 4: Based on the most current data available from four independent federal agencies tasked with monitoring of the nation’s natural resources, we can conclude that bottomland hardwood forests have been stable or increasing in areal extent in the past decade.
Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment: Section 8: The available data suggest that states in the hardwood region are diligent about enforcing regulations where they apply, proactive in encouraging and monitoring BMPs, and attentive to identifying and acting on priority forestry issues. The wide acceptance and implementation of BMPs contribute to the Study Team's finding that there is a very low to negligible risk that forestry activities adversely affect water quality and associated beneficial uses.
Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment, Section 13.3 : The various approaches generally enable producers that depend for their wood supply on private, and particularly family-owned, forests to provide buyers with additional confidence that sustainability objectives are integrated into their wood supply. Case studies: Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment, Section 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18
Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment Finding 1: The preponderance of evidence compiled for this update strongly indicates that there is very low or "negligible" risk that U.S. hardwood exports contain wood from illegal and unsustainable sources, based upon programs and requirements currently in place.
Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment Finding 20: A safety-net of federal and state laws and regulations, resource assessments and forest and wildlife action plans, Best Management Practices (BMPs), professional logger training, forest health monitoring and protection, conservation programs, technical assistance, outreach and cost-share incentive programs, are effective in assisting family forest owners in achieving legal and regulatory compliance, broadening the professionalism of forest workers and promoting sustainable forestry practices. Overall, federal and state forest programs contribute to ensuring sustainable and legal hardwood supplies. [Sections 8, 9]
Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment Finding 23: There are extant protections, conservation programs, BMP monitoring, and public and private sustainable forestry programs in each hardwood state that address HCV and forest conversion issues. Depending upon the decision criteria used in the final FSC-US-NRA, these various landscape scale initiatives may contribute to viable control measures under the FSC Controlled Wood standard. [Section 11]
Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment Finding 25: Four case studies of Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Survey Units that are among the highest hardwood sawtimber producing areas in the United States highlight and substantiate that the forest land base is stable, forest inventories are increasing, BMP programs are highly effective, a large number of loggers have received sustainable forestry training and State Forest and Wildlife Action Plans are in place to address state-specific sustainability challenges. Among the common challenges identified in state forest assessments are the threat of conversion of forests to development and combating forest health risks, including invasive insects and disease. [Sections 14, 15, 16, 17, 18]