FSC US Controlled Wood National Risk Assessment (US NRA)

Second Public Consultation NOW OPEN

The second draft of the FSC US Controlled Wood National Risk Assessment (NRA) is now available for public consultation. All stakeholders are invited to provide input on the draft Risk Assessment. Comments are due on February 28, 2018.

A Simpler, More Transparent, and More Accessible Risk Assessment that will Maintain and Enhance the Controlled Wood System in the US
This second draft builds on the original version of the NRA that was publically consulted in early 2015, but with some important changes:

  • Alignment with more recently approved normative documents
  • Increased transparency, documentation and rationale for proposed risk designations
  • A simplified document and expectations, but without loss of rigor
  • Maintenance of a consistent approach across the US, while also considering regional perspectives
  • A shift from a fine-scale to a landscape-scale approach for risk designations and mitigation
  • Greater responsibility shifted to FSC US to reduce the burden on certified companies
  • Mandatory control measures to help level the playing field between companies
  • Greater opportunities for stakeholder participation
  • Periodic Controlled Wood Regional Meetings as a framework for collaborative mitigation development, stakeholder consultation and effectiveness verification

Proposed Risk Designations
Category 1 - Illegally harvested wood: Low Risk
Category 2 - Wood harvested in violation of traditional and human rights: Low Risk
Category 3 - Wood from forests in which high conservation values are threatened by management activities: Specified Risk in some areas
Category 4 - Wood from forests being converted to plantations or non-forest use: Specified Risk in some areas
Category 5 - Wood from forests in which genetically modified trees are planted: Low Risk

Annex C provides a more detailed summary of risk designations by FSC US Region. Maps of the areas with proposed risk designations may be downloaded and a spatial data layer may be requested, as detailed below.

We recognize that introducing any risk greater than low is a change for most certificate holders. Keeping this in mind, we've worked very hard to ease the burden of implementation on certificate holders by taking on additional responsibilities ourselves.

Recommended Review Process
1. Begin by reviewing the Controlled Wood Overview document, if you are at all unfamiliar with Controlled Wood and the FSC Mix label or recent changes in the Controlled Wood system.

2. Review the Risk Assessment itself - the full FSC US Controlled Wood Risk Assessment (draft updated on 1/3/18 to correct two small typos) is available as a single pdf document which includes the required risk assessment template, along with a number of annexes that provide supplementary information. For Categories 2, 3, and 4, we recommend focusing on the annexes associated with those sections instead of the main template document. These annexes provide additional guidance, context, and details that informed the risk designations and do so in an easier to read format. Additional materials that may assist your review include:

3. Read the following short documents that build out the proposed approach to risk mitigation beyond the formal risk assessment document:

4. Answer the questions in the Comment Form and add any additional technical or editorial comments that you may have. We welcome all comments that you may have for us, but responses to our specific consultation questions are extremely helpful.

The public consultation period will remain open until February 28, 2018.

Webinars and Stakeholder Meetings
FSC US hosted two webinars and three stakeholder meetings to discuss the second draft of the NRA, the Controlled Wood system, and the current consultation with all interested stakeholders. Meetings were held on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, January 31 in Atlanta, GA. This meeting focused on the specified risk designations in the Southeast, Ozark Ouachita, and Mississippi Alluvial Valley Regions.
  • Thursday, February 1 in Lexington, KY. This meeting focused on the specified risk designations in the Appalachian Region.
  • Tuesday, February 6 in Portland, OR. This meeting focused on the specified risk designations in the Pacific Coast and Rocky Mountain Regions.

Webinars were held on Thursday, January 18th and Tuesday, February 20th, 2018. You can download a copy of the presentation and a copy of the Questions & Answers.

Please contact FSC US with any questions you have. Thank you for your interest and participation!