Newsletter Stories

Wednesday, 15 May 2002
First FSC-Certified Forest in Louisiana: 482,000 Acres

Roy O. Martin (ROM), of Alexandria, Louisiana, recently earned five certificates from the FSC-accredited SmartWood program of the Rainforest Alliance. The certificates cover 482,188 acres in thirty Louisiana parishes.

This marks the first FSC certificate awarded in Louisiana. The 79-year-old company is one of the largest independently owned wood products companies in the southeast and is the first in the world to manufacture utility poles and Oriented Strand Board (OSB) with wood from FSC-certified forests.

The annual allowable cut from ROM’s forests is 45 million board feet of pine sawtimber, 18 million board feet of hardwood timber, 810,000 tons of pine pulpwood, and 210,000 tons of hardwood pulpwood. The company’s Tuff Brand OSB is recognized around the world for its high quality and cost-effectiveness, and is available in 7/16" and 15/32" panels. OSB is used for sheathing and subflooring. Annually, ROM’s mill produces 280 million feet of OSB. ROM also keeps a stock of 20,000 utility poles available to its customers for emergencies.

ROM has worked with The Nature Conservancy and the Louisiana Natural Heritage Program to protect areas within its forests that have High Conservation Value attributes, and has set aside 2,700 acres for conservation. ROM’s forest is a mix of plantations of loblolly or slash pine or naturally regenerated abandoned fields of loblolly, slash, and upland hardwoods. ROM’s pinelands have a history of being cutover, abandoned, or farmed, then reforested or naturally regenerated. Cotton rows are still noticeable in some of old fields.

Management of the hardwood forest directly affects the natural resources of the Atchafalaya Basin, which is of historical and cultural importance to Louisiana’s Cajun population. The basin consists of Cypress-Tupelo swamps, bottomland hardwoods, crayfish, crabs, and provides for recreation, flood control and wildlife habitat. ROM’s importance to the basin was recognized by the State Government’s “Louisiana Master Plan for Basin Management".

FSC-certified forests are now found throughout the southeast in Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, and Florida. Roy O. Martin’s forests join over 70 million acres of FSC forests around the world. More information on this certification is available and visit