FSC on U.S. Forests

Aptly timed for our nation’s birthday, the FSC U.S. Board of Directors has come out with their new analysis of the U.S. commercial supply and it’s looking pretty good! Overall, the U.S. is all Low Risk, with a few counties or regions having some specified risk for conversation or the destruction of high conservation forests.

Summary of the Final Draft Risk Designations:

  • Illegally harvested wood: Low Risk
  • Wood harvested in violation of traditional and human rights: Low Risk
  • Wood from forests in which high conservation values are threatened by management activities: Specified Risk in portions of the Pacific Coast, Rocky Mountain, Mississippi Alluvial Valley, Appalachian and Southeast Regions
  • Wood from forests being converted to plantations or non-forest use: Specified Risk for specific counties within the Pacific Coast and Southeast Regions
  • Wood from forests in which genetically modified trees are planted: Low Risk

The report needs to be ratified by FSC International before it can be utilized FSC controlled wood analysis, but even before that happens, this is a good report for reviewing the conditions in the United States.

This will also be a great report for those exporting US wood to countries like South Korea, Indonesia and into the EU, who need to provide evidence of legality/low risk.

Happy Fourth of July everyone! Here’s to another 242 years of strong and healthy American forests!

Elizabeth Baldwin is Environmental Compliance Officer for Metropolitan Hardwood Floors. In her 25 plus year career in the wood industry has visited over 70 countries and hundreds of facilities of all sizes and types. She describes herself as a “jack of all wood trades.” Familiar with jungles of all sorts–having camped out along the Amazon and walked the halls of Congress–she blogs for the NWFA on both environmental and regulatory issues for educational and informational purposes only. Her blog is not intended and should not be construed as legal advice. Persons seeking legal advice on compliance with CARB, TSCA, the U.S. Lacey Act or any other law, regulation, or compliance requirement/claim should consult with the regulatory agency directly and/or a qualified legal professional.

3 thoughts

  1. Hi: I’m looking for unfinished flooring. Have asked if FSC certified, but the owner doesn’t seem to know what this is. Did confirm that the unfinished wood is harvested in the USA. Since from the USA, can I know it is sustainably harvested or at least a high likelihood?

  2. Thanks for writing. The US hardwood forests are in great shape and are absolutely, for the vast majority of the material, being managed and harvested sustainably. Enjoy your new floor!

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