Maine’s SFI Implementation Committees was honored on September 18 for “its efforts to connect communities to sustainable forestry” during SFI’s 2013 Annual Conference in San Antonio. The Maine SFI Implementation Committee shared SFI’s 15th Annual Achievement Award with Minnesota and Georgia.
Maine was chosen, SFI press release said, “for bringing together stakeholders from around the state in a project to protect habitats for Atlantic salmon and native brook trout by promoting improved stream crossings, fish passage and water quality protection. The Maine SIC was the leading force in establishing the Fisheries Improvement, a forum for public agencies, family forest owners, conservation groups, and others working together to protect critical habitats for Atlantic salmon and native brook trout. One of FIN’s major accomplishments this year was producing a video to promote Best Management Practices for stream connectivity and fish passage. the press release said, and in support of SFI’s commitment to continuing education for forestry professionals, committee members have trained more than 500 forestry professionals in forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs) during the past year.”
“It was a proud moment to accept the 2013 SIC Annual Achievement Award on behalf of Maine’s program participants, supporters and partners,” said Gordon Gable, chairman of the Maine SIC Committee. “This is the third time in the 15-year history of the award that the Maine SIC has been so honored. Each time it has been the result of a collaborative effort involving our enthusiastic and dedicated participants (and coordinator!) working with dedicated partners. In this case, the numerous members of the FIN coalition should be recognized as sharing in this honor. While our efforts are first and foremost to make a positive difference in forest sustainability, it is very gratifying to share such an award with outstanding SICs such as Georgia and Minnesota.”
The Minnesota SFI Implementation Committee was honored for mobilizing volunteers to connect sustainable forestry to an enduring Boy Scouts of America tradition through the “Trees to Track” project. This unique partnership created derby car race kits certified to the SFI Chain of Custody Standard, sustainably harvested by volunteers. More than 2,500 kits will be donated by the Minnesota SFI Implementation Committee to local scouts, who will be encouraged next spring to build and design their own wooden cars with a sustainability theme. The committee also organized a tree planting project with 400 maple trees at the Scouts’ “Camp Wilderness.” The trees will ultimately be tapped for Boy Scout maple syrup.
The Georgia SFI Implementation Committee shared the award for convening a group of organizations in a community homebuilding initiative promoting the use of SFI-labeled or sustainably sourced lumber in construction and forest products in the home. The initiative, a “Georgia Forestry Community,” included a volunteer effort to building a home in partnership with Macon County Habitat for Humanity, while raising awareness of the abundance and sustainability of Georgia’s forests. They helped a deserving family achieve their dream of home ownership. Since 2008, SFI and its Implementation Committees have partnered on more than a dozen Habitat for Humanity builds across Canada and the U.S.
“Every year, SFI recognizes the work of its unique grassroots network of 35 SFI implementation committees, which promote sustainable forestry in communities across North America,” SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow said. “The projects we are recognizing today demonstrate how SFI Implementation Committees are, quite literally, at the root of our success because the future of our forests depends on sustained engagement and cooperation at the community level, day in and day out.”