FSC US Forest Management Standard
2018-2020 Revision

FSC US is currently revising the FSC US Forest Management Standard (v1.0). This process began in early 2018 and is expected to conclude in 2021. The following content provides an overview of the scope, objectives and methodology for the process, along with requests for stakeholder participation.

Please email fm.revision@us.fsc.org with questions or for more information.

In 2010, FSC US completed a full review and revision of the nine FSC US regional standards that culminated in the approval and accreditation of a single FSC US forest management (FM) standard. While this undertaking was lengthy and detailed, the result was an outstanding US FM standard. With an overall goal of maintaining continuity and consistency in the FSC US FM Standard, the 2018-2021revision will:

  • Align the US FM standard with the new FSC Principles & Criteria, and International Generic Indicators (IGI)
  • Address a small number of high priority issues identified by stakeholders
  • Incorporate guidance that has been in use, but not formally adopted into the standard
  • Complete editorial and grammatical clarifications

Priority Issues
The following potential priorities were identified based upon stakeholder feedback since the last standard revision. Please download the PDF document for more detailed descriptions.

  • Regional Requirements – Incorporate regional requirements into the body of the standard after assessing the need for updates, based upon new information.
  • Conservation Lands & High Conservation Values – Formally adopt a methodology for Representative Sample Areas and a national High Conservation Value Framework, improve clarity of guidance around relevant indicators and address the new IGI requirements related to Conservation Areas Networks.
  • Customary/Traditional Rights & Engagement – Evaluate new IGI requirements related to customary and traditional rights and clarify relevant terminology.
  • Family Forest Indicators – Assess the need for updates to these indicators, with special consideration of new guidance on scale, intensity and risk, and any outcomes from FSC’s ‘New Approaches to Smallholder Certification’ initiative.
  • Climate Change – Evaluate how climate change adaptation strategies can be supported by the existing framework of the FSC US FM standard to help promote responsible forest management. NOTE: This issue is not intended to address carbon capture, climate change credits or to ‘high carbon stock.’ It is also not intended to represent or replace the FSC ‘Ecosystem Services’ initiative.
  • US Forest Service Supplementary Requirements – Re-evaluate approved requirements for alignment with revised indicators, and as otherwise directed by the SDG.

A technical working group (WG) was formed to advise the Standards Development Group (SDG), based upon inputs from FSC US staff, consultants and technical advisors. The Working Group includes both FSC members and non-members, and represents a wide diversity of US regions and stakeholder types. The FSC US Board of Directors will be fulfilling the role of SDG. FSC US staff will coordinate the process and liaise between the Working Group and the FSC US Board of Directors/SDG. To contact the SDG, please send an email to Amy Clark Eagle (a.eagle@us.fsc.org).

Working Group

  • Karen Brenner - Consulting Forester; Auditor
  • Steve Grado - Professor of Forestry, Mississippi State University; Auditor
  • John Gunn - Research Assistant and Professor, University of New Hampshire; Executive Director, SIG-NAL
  • Stuart Hale - Forest Management Specialist, The Nature Conservancy
  • Daniel Hall - Principal, Guide Environmental
  • Mark Heyde - Sustainable Forestry Certification Coordinator, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • Brian Kittler - Director, Western Regional Office, Pinchot Institute for Conservation
  • Mickey Rachal - Woodlands Manager, RoyOMartin
  • Christopher Reeves - Wood Supply and Forestry Specialist, IKEA Purchasing Services (US) Inc.
  • Sean Ross - Director of Forestry Operations, The Lyme Timber Company

Stakeholder Participation Requested
We encourage stakeholder participation throughout the standard revision process. The best way to participate is to join the consultative forum. The consultative forum is for any stakeholder that wishes to receive periodic updates about the standard revision process and contribute to the development of the standard. Join the consultative forum by filling out this short form.


  • Working Group formed


  • Working Group develops recommendations for SDG


  • SDG consensus on a draft for public consultation
  • Initiate 1st public consultation
  • Initiate 2nd public consultation
  • Forest test (new elements only)


  • SDG consensus on a final draft
  • Submit to FSC International for approval
  • Approval and publication by FSC International

Normative Guidance
The development of the revised FSC US FM Standard will follow FSC standards and procedures for the development and revision of normative documents.