Monday, 01 July 2002
Fort Lewis Becomes First Army Base to Complete Third Party Certification
Washington State’s Fort Lewis has become the first U.S. Army base to have its forestland certified for responsible forestry by an independent certification system. The Northwest Natural Resource Group, a partner of the Rainforest Alliance’s FSC-accredited SmartWood program completed the certification in June.
The base is used primarily for training purposes, but the Army also harvests annually about ten million board feet of mostly Douglas fir from the 54,000 acres of forestland. Most of the revenue is used to sustain the natural resource and conservation programs on the base, and about 40% goes to Pierce, Thurston, and Clark counties in lieu of taxes. In relation to residential and other types of development, Fort Lewis contains the largest contiguous forest in the southern Puget Sound lowlands.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated 58,000 acres of southeastern Puget Sound as critical habitat for northern spotted owl. While managers have no evidence that owls currently inhabit the base, they have a goal of creating and maintaining old growth forest structure that these owls favor. Several Native American tribes, including the Nisqually, Puyallup, Squaxon Island, Steilacoom and Yakama, utilize the base for fishing, hunting, and gathering.
The Fort Lewis certification is consistent with the FSC-U.S. federal lands policy, which distinguishes between Department of Defense property and other federal ownerships like National Forests. For more information, see the FSC-U.S. position on federal lands onwww.fscus.org. The complete public summary for this certification can be found at: http://www.smartwood.org/reports/index.html#f. The report is titled “Forestry Branch, Fort Lewis Military Installation."