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DCNR Receives Favorable Independent Audit Reports for Its More Than 2.2 Million-Acre State Forest System

02/03/2021

Harrisburg, PA -- Today, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced DCNR’s state forest system, totaling more than 2.2 million acres, has received two favorable independent audit reports deeming it soundly managed as sustainable woodlands.

“These favorable 2020 surveillance audits by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) show our state forests meet their standards for sustainable certification,” Dunn said. “These results are a stamp of excellence on the Bureau of Forestry’s  people, programs and initiatives, all charting a path for healthy woodlands of tomorrow.”

Conducted in October 2020 in the state forest districts of Bald Eagle, Rothrock, Buchanan, and Forbes, audits were significantly modified from past practices to maintain safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Audit results will enable the bureau to continue selling timber as certified under both agency standards.

Auditor findings noted by the bureau included:

  • The bureau “exceeds standards” under SFI for our high-quality construction and maintenance of state forest roads.

  • Notations commonly used by the auditors that included “sound practices based on sound principles,” “textbook water quality protection,” and “all aspects of sustainability are evident in our management: social, economic, and environmental – demonstrating a stewardship ethic.”

  • Two Minor Corrective Action Requests for the SFI certification, both related to administrative errors, that will be easily corrected in 2021; there were no FSC findings.

These audits are based on principles, goals, and performance measures developed by professional foresters, conservationists, and others with the intention of promoting sustainable forest management in North America and globally.

Requirements include measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and forests with exceptional conservation value.

Visit the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Forest Stewardship Council for more information.

Pennsylvania’s state forest system extends into 48 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.

It offers water and air purification, recreation, aesthetic beauty, plant and animal habitat, economic benefits through provision of wood products, and environmentally sound utilization of mineral resources.

Pennsylvania is divided into 20 forest districts, responsible for protecting all forestland within their boundaries from fire, destructive insects and disease.

MEDIA CONTACT: Terry Brady, 717-877-6315

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