WASHINGTON, DC – The National Association of State Foresters (NASF) will receive a grant from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) to promote continuous improvement in water quality protection and assess how well best management practices (BMPs) are protecting water resources in the United States.
“Thanks to SFI, as well as support from the U.S Forest Service, we will update our assessment of how states and territories are developing and implementing best management practices to safeguard lakes, rivers and watersheds,” NASF President C. Randall (Randy) Dye said today. “This information will be used by land managers to assess and improve the protection and enhancement of water resources in their state.”
The $40,000 grant is being awarded under the SFI® Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program.
“This project is exciting because it helps government agencies assess effectiveness of best management practices. This will ultimately support our shared objective for healthy water resources,” SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow said today. “Implementation of science-based, best management practices to support water quality is a core component of the SFI Program and central to the work of SFI’s grassroots network of 37 SFI Implementation Committees”
SFI Inc. created the Conservation & Community Partnerships Grant program in 2010 to foster partnerships between organizations interested in improving forest management in the United States and Canada, and promote responsible procurement globally. Through the involvement of partners, these research projects leverage additional resources, achieving a total investment of $4.8 million. The NASF project is one of five SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grants to be awarded this year that will specifically support water resources.
This grant is especially timely given a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to review the NEDC v. Brown decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that ruled logging roads are “point sources” requiring a discharge permit under the Clean Water Act. Since the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has held that runoff from forestry activities, including forest roads, should be regulated through state BMPs rather than through federal permits. Congressional action preventing the decision from taking effect expires at the end of September.
The SFI program is the only forest certification standard in North America that requires participants to support and engage in research activities to improve forest health, productivity and sustainable management of forest resources. Since 1995, its program participants have contributed more than $1.3 billion for research activities, including forestry research, science and technology.