Well-managed, FSC certified forests give wildlife more private places to "populate."
The North American forest is home to thousands of species of animals, birds and insects.
The best way to ensure they continue to thrive and do not join the endangered list is to protect their habitat. By engaging in responsible forest management practices certified by independent third parties, companies like Domtar are doing just that and thereby helping safeguard the forest so it can continue to benefit all stakeholders for generations to come.
The best way to accomplish this is by adopting strict standards for sustainable forest management, standards that are enforced by internationally-recognized third parties whose seal of approval guarantees that a product has been produced responsibly. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Canadian Standards Association are three of the most respected organizations in the business in North America. Whenever possible, Domtar favors certification to FSC, due to its inclusive mandate, which involves striking a balance amongst environmental, social and commercial interests in a forest.
FSC certified forests are evaluated against 10 principles and 57 criteria for responsible forest management. Among other things, they ensure that waterways and wildlife habitat and species are protected, and high conservation value forests that contain biodiversity values and rare or threatened ecosystems are preserved.1 This commitment to safeguarding forest habitats is one of the reasons the FSC has garnered the support of leading environmental organizations and that Domtar is applauded by the Rainforest Alliance and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
With human activities, such as agriculture, urban development and industrial harvesting encroaching more and more onto the world’s forests, many species are having to adapt to new and often less ideal circumstances. Some do a better job than others. In Canada, there are currently 340 forest-associated species at risk, representing 55% of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada listed species at risk.2 These include the grizzly bear, the marbled murrelet, the moose, the northern goshawk and the woodland caribou. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, there are 618 U.S. animal species listed as threatened or endangered.3 Many of these live in the forest or in neighboring areas.
We are lucky in North America in that forest wildlife habitats are being better preserved here than in many parts of the planet. In fact, the overall area of forestland today in the United States is nearly identical to what it was over a century ago,4 largely thanks to forest owners and managers who are committed to long-term sustainability of the resource. In responsibly managed forests, for every tree harvested, many more are replanted or naturally regenerated in its place.
The richness of animal life in our forests is a treasure that can be lost – you’ve probably never even heard of the now extinct Eskimo curlew or the Carolina parakeet that lived among us. But by remaining committed to protecting the habitat of birds like these and the many other two-, four- or multiple-legged residents of the forest, we can all continue to enjoy their company far into the future. And the best way to do this while still enjoying the economic benefits the forest has to offer, is by maintaining our support of sustainable management practices that take into account their need for food, a home, and a quiet place to…you know.
1 FSC - Principles and Criteria
2 Natural Resources Canada - Sustainability Indicators
3 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Report
4 New U.S. Forest Service Data Reveals Positive Gains