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Technical Updates


Wednesday, 09 March 2022
FSC Myth versus Fact

By: Tom Kain


Myth: FSC prohibits the use of herbicides and pesticides

Fact: FSC encourages the wise use of chemicals in forestry applications and encourages forest managers to consider Integrated Pest Management or other alternate methods to achieve desired results.

Myth: FSC is only focused on environmental issues

Fact: The FSC standard takes a balanced approach to managing forests around the world. The three pillars that define the standard include the Environmental Chamber, the Social Chamber, and the Economic Chamber. Each chamber has one-third voting power on proposed changes.

Myth: FSC is a for-profit company

Fact: FSC is a non-profit membership-led organization that sets standards under which forests and companies are certified. Our membership consists of three equally weighted chambers -- environmental, economic, and social. The membership votes on and selects the International Board of Directors. The membership based in the US selects the Board of Directors for FSC US.

Myth: FSC is against tree plantations

Fact: FSC recognizes the need for conventional tree plantations in the US and their ability to reduce pressure to harvest natural areas. FSC has developed standards specifically for plantations, which is a key part of our support.

Myth: FSC certificate holders are automatically members.

Fact: Although both certificate holders and members support the work of FSC, to become a member you must apply either as an organization or individual. FSC members are fundamental to the organization and its vision. Members in good standing have the right to vote on policy, standards, and governance, including the election of board members. Certificate holders are encouraged to become members.

Tom Kain is Senior Manager for Forest Management Certification Markets at FSC US.