Quantifying Impacts of SFI’s Fiber Sourcing Standards in Georgia
Over the last 20 years, SFI’s Fiber Sourcing Standard has been exerting a positive influence across millions of acres of non-certified forest land. To increase understanding of these beneficial impacts, University of Georgia Research Foundation (UGA) will receive $44,860 over two years to investigate Georgia’s Best Management Practices (BMP) compliance rates as they relate to implementation of the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard. Specifically, UGA will research the Georgia Forestry Commission’s Silvicultural BMPs Implementation and Compliance database to determine BMP trends at the landscape scale over time. UGA will also investigate utilization of Georgia’s Master Timber Harvester Program, a requirement under SFI’s Fiber Sourcing Standard. This research will include determining timber volume and area harvested by loggers who have completed the program, as well as investigating loggers’ perceptions regarding BMP policies.
The project will illustrate the water-quality related sustainability of forest management practices on industrial and non-industrial private forest lands in Georgia. The methods developed for this study will be applicable to measuring the environmental benefits associated with application of the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard in other states. UGA and partners will ultimately disseminate their findings to local and regional stakeholder groups and the general public.
The project will support SFI objectives to protect water resources through the utilization of Best Management Practices and promotion of logger training programs.
The University of Georgia, a land-grant and sea-grant university with statewide commitments and responsibilities, is the state’s oldest, most comprehensive, and most diversified institution of higher education. Its motto, “to teach, to serve, and to inquire into the nature of things,” reflects the University’s integral and unique role in the conservation and enhancement of the state’s and nation’s intellectual, cultural, and environmental heritage.
The research will be undertaken by Puneet Dwivedi (PI) and Bob Izlar (Co-PI) at the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources (Warnell School) – the oldest existing forestry school in southern United States which is currently home to 64 faculties, 100 staff members, 350 undergraduate and 200 graduate students. The Warnell School is committed in providing teaching, research and outreach activities related to the conservation and management of our natural resources throughout Georgia and the world.