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Friday, 15 June 2001
SmartWood Triples in Three Years, Gears Up for Further Growth

Given its rapid expansion over the past three years, the FSC-accredited certifier SmartWood is making some changes to its organizational structure.

Based in Richmond, VT, SmartWood certified its first forest in 1994 and has since certified 129 forestry operations globally. During each of the past three years, SmartWood has grown 100%, according to Richard Donovan, Director of the new TREES Division of SmartWood. “With the growing number of certificates that we issue, we’re addressing the need for a strong and far-reaching network within SmartWood," noted Donovan.SmartWood’s plans are two-fold: They have extended their network of US regional offices, now represented in the west, central, and eastern parts of the US, and are seeking to establish primary or secondary offices in Canada, Central America, and Europe. Regional managers in each office supervise all certification servicing within their region. “We are now asking our partner organizations to accept a different role, working with the new SmartWood regional managers," commented Donovan. Currently in the SmartWood network are Headwaters Charitable Trust (PA), the Institute for Sustainable Forestry (CA), Northeast Natural Resource Center/NWF (VT), Northwest Natural Resource Group (WA), and the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute (WI).

To increase focus and efficiency at the headquarters level, SmartWood has reorganized its staff into five strict divisions. These include Canada-USA, International, Quality Control, TREES, and Finance and Administration. TREES is hailed as the “heart and soul" of SmartWood. It is planned to implement the training, research, education, extension, and systems development activities. TREES activities include assessor training, educational “Walks in the Woods" on forest management and certification, development of forest management tools to help operations meet FSC certification standards, and a focused effort on improving marketing linkages for certified community and indigenous forestry operations. Such plans promise to help pave the way for certified forestry at all levels, from the small private landowner to the largest public timber company.