Milestone for 46,000 acres of Central Cascades Forest

The Central Cascades Forest, 46,000 acres of timberlands managed by The Nature Conservancy, has achieved a milestone: The forest management operations have been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, an independent nonprofit established to promote responsible management of the world’s forests.

Aerial view south of Cabin Creek, with patches of cut forest interspersed with replanted forest in the Cascade Mountains. Photo © Benjamin Drummond for The Nature Conservancy

Certification is a rigorous process that evaluates forest management on 10 principles, including how the forest is treated, how workers are treated, and how the community is treated, said Seth Zuckerman, executive director of the Northwest Natural Resource Group (NNRG), which led the evaluation for the Central Cascades.

“We are excited to recognize this important project with Forest Stewardship Council certification,” said Zuckerman. “The Conservancy and its partners in the Central Cascades Forest have shown far-sighted vision in committing to manage this forest for sustainable harvest while restoring its ecological health.” The newly certified forest represents a 12 percent increase in the area certified statewide.

The Conservancy has previously earned certification for its 7,600-acre Ellsworth Creek Preserve in Southwest Washington and for the 5,800 acres the Conservancy owns on the Clearwater River in Jefferson County. It’s working on certification for the 10,000-acre Hoh River Conservation and Recreation Area.

“We want to ensure that everything we do in these forests is leading to better outcomes for the environment and for people,” said James Schroeder, conservation director for the Conservancy’s Washington chapter. “Third-party certification such as this leads to healthy habitats, cleaner water and all the things we care about.”