SFI BLOG

State Foresters Advance Urban and Community Forestry with Support From New SFI Standard

When the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service announced a historic $1.5 billion investment in urban forests, Scott Altenhoff, Manager of Urban & Community Forestry for Oregon’s Department of Forestry, recognized a key opportunity for state foresters to take a step back and consider a whole-system approach to making the work of urban forestry more sustainable.

May 22nd, 2024|

Grow Your Own: Mass Timber Gains Momentum With Locally Sourced Wood

The momentum in late March felt palpable for mass timber when I joined over 3,000 people on the annual pilgrimage to Portland, Oregon, for the International Mass Timber Conference. The buzz began even before visitors reached the convention when travelers arrived at the Portland airport, straining for a glimpse of the much-awaited mass timber renovation.

April 15th, 2024|

Urban Forestry Success Starts With Community

For decades, urban foresters have played a vital role in maximizing the economic, environmental, and social benefits provided by city trees and green spaces. However, the work has taken on even greater profile and urgency in recent years amid the climate crisis and environmental justice concerns in the U.S. and abroad.

March 21st, 2024|

The World’s First Sustainability Certification for Urban and Community Forests Takes Root in Canada

The trees where we live provide so much for our communities. Their shade cools us in summer. Trees purify the air we breathe. Birds build nests in city trees and bring us joy with their song. Our children play among trees in parks. When we walk in our urban green spaces, our stress, heart rate, and blood pressure go down. Researchers are even interested in the positive relationship between students being around trees and succeeding at school.

March 15th, 2024|

Charting Career Pathways in Forestry with PLT Canada’s Specialist High Skills Major Certification

While many in the sector know the diversity of forest-focused career opportunities available, it can be difficult to find age-appropriate and scientifically sound programs for students considering pursuing a green career pathway. To support youth in this path, Project Learning Tree (PLT) Canada offers a Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) certification for high school students interested in pursuing a career in the forest sector.

March 4th, 2024|

People Want to Work in Buildings Built of Wood

In the wake of remote work during the pandemic, a study of human resources executives found that most are struggling to get staff back into the office. Here is one solution: move into a mass timber building.

February 14th, 2024|

Aspire to Inspire: 2024 Alabama Jr. MANRRS Leadership Institute

To commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service (MLK Day), over 80 students from Alabama and Georgia attended the 2024 Jr. Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources & Related Sciences (MANRRS) Leadership Institute. Auburn University’s and Tuskegee University’s MANRRS programs led the three-day program to engage high school students and expose them to the exciting opportunities and pathways in the forest and conservation sector.

January 22nd, 2024|

Connecting Communities to Urban Forests with Historic Investment

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is celebrating being named a recipient of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service’s historic $1 billion investment in urban forests. This transformative funding aims to plant and maintain trees, combat extreme heat, and address climate change while improving access to nature in urban and suburban areas across the United States.

December 18th, 2023|

An Urban Forest Inflection Point

Paul Johnson had a good job and was happy with his work as the Texas A&M Forest Service's urban and community forestry program leader. But in 2021, when he heard about a position with Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) as Senior Director of Urban and Community Forestry, he was intrigued. After an interview and talking to his colleagues about SFI, Johnson decided that the opportunity to participate in developing SFI's Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard (UCFSS) (SFI 2023a) was too good to pass up.

December 1st, 2023|

Underrepresented Architecture Students Chart Future Careers Through the Forest

Earlier this fall, I had an amazing day at the Austin Carey Forest Campus, which is part of the University of Florida in Gainesville. The morning consisted of a tour of the 2,000-acre Austin Carey Forest in the company of nearly 40 architecture students from the University of Miami School of Architecture and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. We inspected and learned about various managed sections in the forest.

November 27th, 2023|

SFI at the 2023 SAF National Convention

This year’s SAF National Convention was one for the books! Hosted in Sacramento, California, from October 25-28, five members of the SFI Team joined panels, workshops, and discussions exploring the proud legacy of forestry and the ongoing challenges and opportunities facing foresters and natural resources professionals. We were also a proud exhibitor, sharing more about our forest-focused activities and professional development offerings for SAF members and beyond!

November 7th, 2023|

From Canada’s Forest Week to Climate Week NYC: Championing Nature-Based Solutions for a Sustainable Future

The world has woken up to the urgent need for climate action and the critical role of nature-based solutions in mitigating and adapting to climate change. This transformational shift signifies a broader global recognition of the importance of forests and other natural systems in addressing the climate crisis. I had the opportunity to be part of this transformational shift recently at two major events in the same week: Canada’s National Forest Week and Climate Week NYC.

October 24th, 2023|

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