Operationalizing Conservation Value Through Multi-species Evaluation on Lands Certified to SFI
Why This Project Matters
Examining the needs of a wide variety of birds helps build understanding of broader ecosystem health and sustainable forest management, which provides wider environmental benefits like clean water and carbon storage. This project is producing data and establishing methodologies to demonstrate the conservation values of forestlands certified to SFI. It is also measuring the conservation values associated with the application of the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard.
The project builds on and further refines estimates of conservation values in the American Bird Conservancy’s (ABC) five pilot areas in the U.S. Southeast. It also incorporates robust bird and habitat data from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird citizen-science database.
How the Project is Linking Managed Forests at an Unprecedented Scale
This proposal is refining methods from ABC’s past projects, supported by SFI, in the U.S. Southeast and Pacific Northwest and expanding this work into a new pilot area. This is demonstrating how research methods can be transferred to regions with different ecological conditions. SFI staff have worked with both ABC and the Boreal Avian Modelling Project (BAM), based at the University of Alberta, to ensure dovetailing of their respective proposals. Strengthening collaboration between ABC and BAM effectively links work across the U.S.‑Canada border while advancing knowledge at a continental scale.
The SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program is supporting this project. SFI has engaged with both ABC and BAM to shape this project as a partnership. The partnership features a structured approach to direct coordination between ABC and BAM. The strength of the project hinges on combining the modeling power of BAM with ABC’s experience engaging SFI Program Participants. This partnership will capitalize upon ABC’s relationship skills and BAM’s modeling skills to advance SFI Program Participant implementation of recommended forest management practices.
How the Project Helps Forest Managers
This project will help SFI to translate the conservation value of forests certified to SFI to brand owners seeking to communicate the positive qualities of their supply chain choices. ABC will continue to share our progress and results from the Managed Forests and Birds partnership broadly throughout the wildlife conservation community.
This work will also provide credible, defensible assurances that customers are supporting the sustainability attributes they desire when buying forest products. It will also help build understanding about the relationship between these products and the forest values we all care about. Forest managers will also benefit from a range of tools to help guide forest management decisions. For example, managers will be able to estimate the value of young forest habitats to the associated bird species and in turn link decisions to habitat and species management.
This partnership includes conservationists, researchers, and SFI Program Participants.
- Project lead: American Bird Conservancy
- Sustainable Forestry Initiative
- University of Alberta Department of Renewable Resources, Boreal Avian Modelling Project
- National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI)
- Hancock Timber Resources Group (SFI Program Participant)
- International Paper Company (SFI Program Participant)
- Rayonier (SFI Program Participant)
- Resource Management Service (SFI Program Participant)
- The Westervelt Company (SFI Program Participant)
- Weyerhaeuser (SFI Program Participant)