FSC-Watch

An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

FSC commits "major blunder" by certifying clearcutting in California's redwoodsTags: USA, High Conservation Value Forests, Pesticides, SCS

On 11 February 2013, Green Diamond Resource Company announced that it had received FSC certification. Dr. Robert J. Hrubes, Executive Vice President of SCS announced that,

"Green Diamond Resource Company has undergone a lengthy and rigorous assessment of its forest management practices, broadly defined, and have demonstrated a level of conformance to the FSC Standard that merits award of certification."

EPIC (Environmental Protection Information Center) disagrees with SCS's assessment...[Continue]

What FSC, Greenpeace and Environmental Investigation Agency have to say about Rainforest Alliance's $390,000 'gifts' from GibsonTags: USA, Controlled wood, Greenpeace, EIA, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

Gibson Guitars: where have all the fleas come from?Tags: USA, Controlled wood, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

In one of the political blogs still commenting on the US Fish and Wildlife Service's second raid on Gibson Guitars for possible contraventions of the Lacey Act, Republican pundit Andrew M. Langer, berating Gibson for "consorting with environmentalists", refers to an old saying that "if you lie down with dogs be prepared to get up with fleas"...[Continue]

Gibson Guitars fiasco raises new questions about integrity of Rainforest AllianceTags: USA, Legality, Tropical Forest Trust, Controlled wood, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

The raiding of Gibson Guitars in Tennessee in August by US Federal Fish and Wildlife officials for suspected violations of the Lacey Act - which forbids US companies from importing wood obtained from illegal sources - has once again cast a very hard light on the FSC system, and in particular on the Rainforest Alliance, whose SmartWood scheme is the FSC's most prolific issuer of FSC certificates. An October 2nd article (which we reproduce in full below), published in the 'Tennessean' newspaper, has opened new revelations about the relationship between Gibson and the Alliance, which sound loud alarm bells about the 'independence' of the certifier...[Continue]

FSC's mysterious disappearing certificates, #1: Massachusetts state forestsTags: USA, Suspended certificates, Certifier conflict of interest, SCS

FSC-Watch has several times in the last eighteen months reported on the FSC-certified 'chainsaw massacre' taking place in the state forest lands of Massachusetts, USA. Managed by the state's Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), 285,000 acreas of forest had been certified by California-based Scientific Certification Systems Inc (SCS) since 2004.

The Massachusetts DCR certificate 'disappeared' in April 2009, without any explanation from the FSC or the certifier...[Continue]

More media coverage of the Massachusetts Chainsaw MassacreTags: USA, Accreditation controls, SCS

Last month, FSC-Watch posted information about the FSC-certified destructive logging taking place in Massachusetts. Massachusetts Forest Watch has documented the destruction in detail. The story has received more media coverage, listed below, with links.

Taxpayers footing bill to destroy state forests

Capital 9 News, 3 April 2009

It's a massive space of open land in Savoy Massachusetts...[Continue]

Why does FSC allow the Massachusetts Chainsaw Massacre to remain certified?Tags: USA, Accreditation controls, SCS

FSC is coming in for some serious criticism in Massachusetts. Earlier this month, Massachusetts Forest Watch produced a 50-page report detailing the damage that logging is doing to State forests.

Subsequently, the Boston Channel's Team 5 Investigates produced a video explaining how the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, which is supposed to protect forests, is actually cutting them down. Click on the image below to watch the video:

The transcript is available here...[Continue]

Exposed: FSC-certified clear-cutting of Massachusetts public forests, USATags: USA, Accreditation controls, SCS

A new website launched recently reveals the destruction of Massachusetts public forests by clear-cutting, even though they have been FSC certified. Clearcutting MA Public Lands shows a series of aerial photographs taken by a local activist.

The more than half million acres of Massachusetts Public Forests, including the Savoy Forest, were certified by Scientific Certification Systems Inc, in August 2004. SCS evidently had difficulty in massaging the state public bodies through the certification process: of the 17 'conditions' which SCS had attached to the certificate between 2002, when assessment began, and 2004, only two conditions had been 'closed out' by the time the certificate was issued...[Continue]

The FSC in picturesTags: Worldwide, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Slovakia, South Africa, Swaziland, USA

It is customary in many organisations to give out-going staff a photo-album showing the person's accomplishments, for them to cherish in future years. We can't do that for Heiko Liedeker, who is finally departing as FSC Executive Director, but what we would like to do with this posting is to show some of what has gone so badly wrong in the past - and what we expect the new Executive Director to put right.

We invite our readers to submit any other photographs that they would like to contribute!

Click on the image for an even clearer picture of what FSC has certified...[Continue]

FSC certification of US public forest lands: the warnings from MichiganTags: USA, Certifier conflict of interest, Accreditation controls, SCS

Debate is growing in the US about the certification of public forests with FSC and the so-called Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) being the front-running schemes. There are good reasons to question whether, in its current state, FSC is an appropriate tool for certification of the vast areas of forest which are in state and federal public ownership in the US, and which in many cases have very high values for recreational, cultural and nature protection purposes. Some of the potential problems are starkly illustrated by one of the existing major FSC certifications of public forest lands, that of the 1.6 million hectares of the Michigan state forests as managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR)...[Continue]

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