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Environment and Outdoors

Appalachian Mountain Club Earns Sustainability Certification for Maine Forestry

The Appalachian Mountain Club has been awarded the Forest Stewardship Council's seal approval for its management of 70,000 acres of Maine wilderness in Piscataquis County.

A senior staff scientist with AMC, David Publicover, describes the certification as the forestry equivalent of the Certified Organic or Certified Humane labels seen in agriculture.

"I think there's probably a certain percentage of consumers that make a point to buy products, whether it's two-by-fours or toilet paper, that come from a certified source," he says.

The project is part of AMC's Maine Woods Initiative, launched following the decline of the region's papermaking industry. The group logs between 300 and 700 acres of forest per year, producing 5,000-6,000 cords, as pulpwood and saw logs. Those products will now bear the Forest Stewardship Council's certification of sustainability, a process Publicover says it took a year to get, and included a three day on-site audit.

"You know, our road maintenance, our timber harvesting, our bridge construction were all examined fairly thoroughly to make sure we were actually doing on the ground what our plan said we were going to be doing," he says.

The group logs a little less than half of the 70,000 acres and reserves the rest for recreation, education and wildlife habitat.