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Association News

U.S. Lumber Production Down
Through May, U.S. lumber production totaled 12.914 billion board feet, down 15.8 percent compared to the first five months of 2007, according to Western Wood Products Association’s Lumber Track.

Production in the West was down 20.5 percent through May compared to January-May last year. Production in the South was down 11.2 percent during the same period. U.S. production in May totaled 2.52 billion feet, dropping 21.1 percent compared to May 2007.

VanDersal Named AF&PA’s VP of Government Affairs
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) named Elizabeth VanDersarl as its Vice President of AF&PA Government Affairs. Ms. VanDersarl will manage the Association’s advocacy efforts in Washington, DC, state capitals around the country, and international venues.

Ms. VanDersarl joined AF&PA in 2006 as a Director of Congressional Affairs, handling energy, environment, and homeland security issues. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of Public Affairs where she was instrumental in streamlining AF&PA’s message development and communications.

Prior to her work at AF&PA, she managed a portfolio of regulatory issues at the Office of Management and Budget. She has also served as Counsel to former Ranking Senator, Fred Thompson (R-TN), on the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, and she was an assistant state’s attorney in Illinois.

SFI Reports Growth in Forest Certification Program
A progress report issued by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) showed tremendous growth in the forest certification program, reflecting a rapidly expanding desire by companies, markets, and consumers for responsible forest management and products.

Almost 500 organizations across the United States and Canada are directly involved with the SFI program. This is more than twice as many as at the start of 2007. When the 2007 progress report was completed in mid-June 2008, there were 235 chain-of-custody certifications at 637 locations, and 226 program participants with 152.6 million acres of certified lands.

On top of this, many program participants and other organizations have SFI fiber sourcing certificates or meet the program’s responsible procurement requirements.

The progress report highlights comments from the SFI External Review Panel, a group of independent experts (including academics, government officials, foresters, and NGO representatives) who provide external oversight of the SFI program.

Some of the SFI program’s achievements in 2007 included:

• Training a total of 6,576 resource and logging professionals in responsible forestry, bringing the total trained since 1995 to 110,778.

• Creating new awards to recognize strong collaborative partnerships that improve forestry practices.

• Supporting forest research, with an investment of $100.2 million by program participants. (The total invested since 1995 is close to $1 billion.)

• Establishing an SFI marketing strategy to promote the benefits of forest certification and the value of the SFI brand.