Forestry, Rural Communities, Water, and Salmon Protection

Posted by Paul Vanderford on June 13, 2013

Sustainable Northwest is addressing the varying needs of each of these diverse interests.

FSC-certified forest. Photo by Matt Freeman-Gleason.

These words and the issues that stand behind them are often polarizing. Can the potentially divergent needs of each interest be reconciled? Sustainable Northwest believes the answer is yes and Oregonians agree.

A recent Pew study shows cross demographic support in Oregon's rural and urban areas for water and salmon protection. Thankfully, people also supported forestry but only if it can be done in a way that ensured long term protection of water and salmon. When these insurances are in place, people support forestry as part of the long term management picture 61% to 29%. Support drops to 45% for forestry as part of the management picture when forestry cannot ensure protection.

To make sure forestry is included in the public's long term vision for the Pacific Northwest we need to do two things. First, we need to make sure we are practicing forestry that protects our common resources. Second, we need to communicate to the public how our working forests are contributing to the water, salmon, and long term resource protection.

Sustainable Northwest is taking action in several ways to advance this vision and we see Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) certification as a valuable tool to affect this change. The FSC standard provides both a way to communicate to the public and verify which forests are being managed to protects water and salmon resources. We support FSC certification by running a group certification program for wood products businesses. Call us to learn how you can find FSC certified products or certify your forestry or wood products business.

By supporting sustainably managed forests you are supporting critical working forestland, the vibrant ecosystems, and rural communities that depend on them.

Paul Vanderford manages our FSC group certification program. Contact him at or (503) 730-9434