Newsletter Stories

Wednesday, 15 August 2001
From the Forest

by Robert Hrubes, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Scientific Certification Systems

I am pleased to have the opportunity to say a few words in this inaugural column. Though there are many and varied activities affiliated with the FSC, the core activity is of course the certification evaluation of forest management and forest products manufacturing businesses.

While some issues garner considerable public attention, such as development of regional guidelines, public lands debates, competition from industry-backed schemes, etc., the work-a-day world of certification entails sending auditors into the field to conduct assessments and administering the programs that deploy these auditors. I thought I would take a moment to introduce the staff at Scientific Certification Systems, the folks that are responsible for the day-to-day operation of our certification program. Front-line leadership is provided by our two Program Managers: Dave Wager for forest management certification and Wolfram Pinker for chain-of-custody certification. In addition, our Senior Forester and lead auditor is Steve Smith, whom many of you may know from is longstanding work as a certification practitioner. And, of course, we employ a large cadre of contract auditors around the country, too numerous to list, here. Finally, I have the privilege of serving as the Senior Vice-President in overall charge of the program and, to the extent I can, also continue to function as a team leader/field auditor.

In future installments of this column, I hope to have the opportunity to share with you some of the more interesting or noteworthy projects we at SCS are presently undertaking. Projects such as: an industrial poplar plantation operation in eastern Oregon, preliminary evaluations of 31 tribal forestry operations around the country, a group certification scheme operated by a large forest products company in the Southeast, and chain-of-custody projects for an expanding and increasingly complex array of forest products.