In the past year, faculty and staff associated with Pack Forest and the College Lands Committee have engaged in an examination of the future role(s) for Pack Forest. Over the history of our College, Pack Forest has been an important part of our research, teaching and outreach. To remain relevant and to contribute to the strategic themes of the College, the mission and vision of Pack Forest must evolve. A logical step is to take steps to ensure that Pack be in the forefront of demonstration forests nationwide.
I have accepted a proposal to seek third party green certification for Pack Forest operations. We expect that current management practices at Pack will allow us to achieve certification of sustainable forestry practices with little substantive change in management direction. However, third party verification, supported by a thorough documentation of policies and a commitment to sustainable practices, will demonstrate leadership appropriate for the College.
Initially, we will seek certification following the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification standard. Other certification systems will be evaluated and, if appropriate, pursued as well.
We will use the certification process to explore development of a certification template suitable for use by small non-industrial forest land owners to achieve certification in a cost effective way. Demonstration of sustainable forestry practices and a certification template will enhance Pack Forest's vision of leadership throughout the forestry community.
John Calhoun will provide overall leadership for this project utilizing resources at Pack Forest and will collaborate with the Rural Technology Initiative.
B. Bruce Bare, Dean