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Forest Certification

Three major land management programs administered by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are verified under third-party forest certification programs. They include:

  • Wisconsin DNR lands (fee and leased) – 1,543,367 acres
  • Wisconsin county forests – 2,394,778 acres
  • Managed Forest Law – 2,471,518 acres under 43,165 orders with 34,423 private landowners

Independent, third-party certification means management of Wisconsin's forests meets strict standards for ecological, social and economic sustainability. Publishers, building contractors and other manufacturers are expanding use of certified wood to assure customers that their products are not tainted by timber theft or destructive timber cutting issues that plague some parts of the world. Forest certification helps Wisconsin remain competitive in global markets that increasingly demand certified raw materials. Objective review is also instrumental in improving how we care for our forests.

Forest certification does not imply these lands will be managed more intensively for commercial forest products. Certification sets a high bar for ethical and sustainable forest management requiring continual improvement on many facets of forest management including planning, forest management practices, habitat for diverse wildlife, stakeholder involvement, and monitoring. Forest certification audits help to assure conformance to certification standards and identify opportunities for improvement.

Certification standards

DNR lands and county forest programs are dual certified under Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) standards. The Managed Forest Law (MFL) program is dual certified under the American Tree Farm System® (ATFS®) and FSC® standards. Detailed audit reports for each program are available on the pages below. Detailed audit reports for each program are available on the following pages:

Certification licenses and chain-of-custody

For DNR lands:

  • License codes are FSC C006979 and SFI-00059
  • Chain-of-Custody is SCS-FM/COC-00070N FSC® 100%; SCS-SFI/FM-000070 SFI®

For the Wisconsin County Forests program:

  • License codes are FSC C006090 and SFI-01617
  • Chain-of-Custody is SCS-FM/COC-00083G FSC® 100%; SCS-SFI/FM-000083 SFI®

For the MFL program:

  • License codes are FSC C117792
  • Chain-of-Custody is SCS-FM/COC-004622 FSC® 100%