The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) announced the election of four new members to its Board of Directors: Mike Parr, President, American Bird Conservancy; Jim Irving, Co-CEO, JD Irving Limited; Lennard Joe, President, Nicola Tribal Association; and Jaime Yraguen, President, Associated Oregon Loggers. These new members embody SFI’s three pillars: supply chain assurance, conservation elevation, and education and community engagement.
“SFI is embarking on a strategic direction exercise and we are so pleased to have these new representatives from key constituencies among our leadership. They will help us think through our role in the next chapter of our forests, our responsible supply chains, and our communities, including measuring conservation results, connecting youth to the outdoors, and engaging our grassroots network of 34 SFI Implementation Committees who do critical work at the local and regional levels across the U.S. and Canada,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc.
SFI’s 18-member, multi-stakeholder board of directors comprises three chambers, representing environmental, economic and social interests equally. SFI Board members include executive-level representatives of conservation organizations, academic institutions, Indigenous communities, family forest owners, public officials, workers and the forest products sector.
Michael J. Parr, President, American Bird Conservancy (representing the environmental chamber)
Mike Parr joined the American Bird Conservancy(ABC) in 1996 and became President in 2017. He is an international wildlife conservationist with more than 25 years of experience in program development, fundraising, communications, and management. He has particular expertise in bird conservation, with substantial field experience, including a special focus on the United States and on the Andean region of South America. ABC is a strong supporter of SFI, engaging with SFI through research grants and through the Bringing Back the Forest Birds initiative.
“I have been involved with SFI for a number of years through its grants program and I very much appreciate what the organization and its members are doing in helping deliver sustainable forest management throughout the U.S. and Canada. The potential to provide more input on the direction of SFI, and especially its work to enhance bird populations, is of tremendous interest to me,” said Parr.
Jim Irving, Co-CEO, JD Irving Limited (representing the economic chamber)
Jim Irving pioneered JD Irving Limited’s (JDI) reforestation and tree improvement programs, helping to set the tone for sustainable forestry in Canada and around the world. In 1996, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. JDI’s forestlands in Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia produce pulp and paper products, specialty papers, tissue products, and lumber. JDI was the recipient of the 2017 SFI Leadership in Conservation award. JDI has been planting trees since 1957. This year will mark the planting of the company’s billionth tree. JDI invests $1.5 million annually in forest research, which guides best practices on the ground.
“These voluntary investments in science and conservation are a cornerstone of our sustainability commitment and have been part of the way we have done business for over 30 years. I hope to use my new board position to leverage the research and conservation work of the SFI network to expand the positive impact JDI and SFI can have when it comes to providing supply chain assurances for consumers and companies,” said Irving.
Lennard Joe, President, Nicola Tribal Association (representing the social chamber)
Lennard Joe brings over 28 years of forestry and business experience to his current roles. The Nicola Tribal Association is the advisory body for seven First Nations’ Indian Bands in British Columbia. He is a Registered Professional Forester, a member of the Nlaka’pamux First Nation, and he represents the Shackan Band as a Director. Lennard also serves on the boards of the National Aboriginal Forestry Association and he is an advisor and committee member with the University of British Columbia Faculty of Forestry First Nations Council of Advisors and the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology’s Faculty of Forestry.
“Our goal is to continually incorporate Indigenous values into the practice of sustainable forestry. Our management activities truly embody our ethic of conserving the ecosystems where we work and our commitment to the future of our forests. Indigenous lands certified to SFI are a big part of this and I’m looking forward to furthering this connection by serving on the SFI Board,” Joe said.
Jaime Yraguen, President, Associated Oregon Loggers (representing the economic chamber)
In addition to his role with Associated Oregon Loggers, Jaime Yraguen is co-owner of Basco Logging Inc., a third-generation logging company in Sutherlin, Oregon. Associated Oregon Loggers represents over 1,000 family owned contract logging companies and businesses associated with the forestry sector. Jaime oversees the Oregon Professional Logger Program Committee that manages the logger training program required for SFI compliance. Jaime is a life member of the Coastal Conservation Association and has served on the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. He also served on the Josh Bidwell Foundation, a nonprofit for youth sports.
“Loggers who are aware of their role as responsible professionals are better equipped to protect the environment through actions like best management practices for water quality. Reaching the thousands of professional loggers is the key to the quality of forest harvesting operations and is one of the hallmarks of the SFI approach. I’m looking forward to building on this deep culture of logger training at SFI,” said Jaime.
Guy Gleysteen, Chairman of the GreenBlue Board of Directors, and Bettina Ring, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, Commonwealth of Virginia (reelected to second terms)
The SFI Board reelected Guy Gleysteen as Vice-Chair. He provides leadership at GreenBlue – an environmental nonprofit dedicated to the sustainable use of materials. Bettina Ring was reelected as an SFI Board member. Bettina oversees three agencies – the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Virginia Department of Forestry, and the Virginia Racing Commission.