Well-managed, FSC certified forests guarantee that future generations will be able to experience nature, not just read about it.
Forests are one of the world’s greatest playgrounds.
Every year in North America, hikers, bikers, Boy and Girl Scouts, campers, birdwatchers and countless other outdoor enthusiasts choose the forest landscape as their place to escape and reconnect with nature. And, thanks in part to the adoption of responsible management practices by companies like Domtar, which understand there is a social component to good forest stewardship, this precious resource – and its inhabitants – will be around to be appreciated by generations to come.
Some might question whether today’s kids, linked as they are to their cell phones and other electronic devices, even want to take a walk in the woods. Indeed, this question has sparked much discussion among child development experts, parents groups and other interested parties, and is at the root a number of local and national programs to get youth away from their computers and outside to play. Initiatives like Let’s Move Outside!,1 National Get Outdoors Day2 and its precursor More Kids in the Woods, which are supported by educators, government agencies, recreational organizations, which have been very successful across the U.S. and are initiating a whole new audience to the wonders of Mother Nature.
Many paper manufacturing companies, including Domtar, support the recreational use of their owned or leased lands by providing access to outdoor clubs and participating in youth educational initiatives. Domtar’s Windsor Mill in Quebec welcomes several hunting and fishing clubs in its forests. Our mill in Dryden, Ontario has hosted an annual forest conservation course for teens for more than 50 years. And, foresters from our Ashdown and Woodland mills teach kids about forest conservation and certification every year as part of school and summer camp programs.
These annual community outreach activities reflect not only our passion for the forest but also our longstanding commitment to responsible management practices and the principles of Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC®). The FSC is one of the leading third-party forest certification organizations in the world – and the certification system favored by Domtar whenever possible.
To receive accreditation as a responsible forest manager under the FSC, a company must ensure that the benefits of the forest are shared among multiple stakeholders. In fact, it’s right there in the organization’s 10 principles and 57 criteria for forest stewardship: “Forest management operations shall encourage the efficient use of the forest’s multiple products and services to ensure economic viability and a wide range of environmental and social benefits.” 3
A certified company’s practices must also protect the plant and wildlife species that live in this special ecosystem under its care. The FSC requires the conservation of biological diversity and its associated values, water resources, soils, and to ensure the ecological functions and integrity of the forest is maintained.4 While the environmental case for this approach is evident, the social ramifications of preserving nature’s richness and diversity should not be forgotten.
By safeguarding the habitats of the plants and animals that live in the forest, companies like Domtar are helping ensure that nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts will continue to be able to enjoy all the excitement of discovery it has to offer.5 This commitment to FSC is one of the reasons we are applauded by leading environmental organizations like the Rainforest Alliance and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
We are proud to be part of the efforts to ensure that, down the road, “the forest experience” is not something our grandchildren will get by visiting a website. It will be something they can live firsthand.
5 2009 Sustainable Growth Report, Domtar