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November : New Project to Recognize Responsible Urban Forestry and Urban Wood Utilization

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21 November, 2017

New Project to Recognize Responsible Urban Forestry and Urban Wood Utilization

Certification to support better use and less waste

A new initiative to support increased urban wood utilization and community benefits has been launched. The project will develop a unified urban wood certification strategy with the goal of aligning existing programs that recognize responsible management practices in the urban forest.  Existing urban forestry programs range from accreditation and licensing to training and certification programs.

"We're not starting with a blank slate," says project manager, Kathryn Fernholz, Executive Director of Dovetail Partners.  "There are many high-quality existing programs that support the practice of urban and utility forestry - from Tree City USA and Tree Line USA to Arborist certifications - and we're looking at how these programs support shared goals and can respond to the growing interest in urban wood and responsible sourcing."

The intent of the project is to develop a certification process to be incorporated into existing professional and accreditation standards, adopted by municipalities, and embraced by tree-related operations within urban forests including  arboriculture businesses and wood processors.

Partners on the project include the Arbor Day Foundation, Society of Municipal Arborists, Tree Care Industry Association, Utility Arborists Association, Right-of-Way Stewardship Council, Dovetail Partners, North Carolina Forest Service, and the USDA Forest Service.  Support for the project is provided by the North Carolina Forest Service, Urban and Community Forestry Program and the USDA Forest Service.

The project also seeks to develop consistent messaging to engage stakeholders and target audiences in the value and benefits of local urban wood products and promote the value-added opportunity for local businesses.  Some municipalities have already incorporated urban wood into their sustainability plans and are utilizing their own wood for local use.  The project hopes to support these existing efforts and to encourage similar efforts by other municipal sustainability and solid waste programs.  These combined efforts ultimately increase long term carbon storage and avoid carbon emissions associated with burning or decomposing.

"By working together, we aim to increase demand for locally-sourced wood and wood products by the public and businesses," says Nancy Stairs, Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator for the North Carolina Forest Service. "We want to help arborists and processors put urban wood to good use and reduce the amount of wood entering landfills."

For more information about this project, visit www.dovetailinc.org

Source: Dovetail Partners


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