Karen Steer, a Portland, Oregon, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) representative, explains how the FSC works.
What is the FSC?
It is an independent, third-party, international organization that sets standards for well-managed forests. It brings environmental, economic and social interests together to define “well-managed forestry.” That comprises the standards that landowners need to follow in order to be certified.
What are the standards?
We have two standards. One is a forest-management standard, and the other is our chain-of-custody standard, which is how we ensure the wood someone purchases is from a certified forest. Within forest management, we use 10 principles to define “well-managed forests.” They cover everything from community to wildlife to silviculture (the science and art of caring for forests) to water and habitat protection.
Where does funding come from?
The funding for the standard-setting body comes from donations from philanthropic foundations and a little bit from membership. The money to get certified comes from the interested party—the landowner or company pays a third-party auditor to certify them. We accredit the third-party auditors and then they go out and certify that the landowners, mills, manufacturers and everyone in the supply chain adheres to our standards.