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Technical Updates

Monday, 06 March 2017
New Handbook for FSC Forest Management Groups

Handbook for FSC Forest Management Groups

March 5, 2017

To help reduce costs of certification for family woodland owners, the Forest Stewardship Council offers group certification, which allows multiple small landowners to share costs and invest in resources – such as consulting foresters – that might otherwise be less available. Across the United States, and especially in the South, FSC is seeing significant growth in group certificate participation, due in large part to efforts by companies such as International Paper and Domtar that manage groups.

To support group managers across the country, FSC US – with support from Procter & Gamble – worked to develop a group certification handbook. Originally developed for the Four States Timber Owners Association (FSTOA), a group developed by Domtar, a version of the handbook can be edited and used by any FSC group. This resource is designed to offer group managers a simple way to create outreach materials that help explain the value of FSC group certification for family woodland owners.

The handbook includes information for group members to understand the benefits of group certification, a toolkit to support new certificate holders and details about FSC-US’ Forest Management standard for family woodlands.

Download the FSTOA handbook.

An editable version of the handbook is included in the above download. Note that some pages in this file are locked to prevent editing (such as pages that relate to FSC standards), while other pages can be edited so other groups can customize the handbook for their own needs.

FSC US is interested in your feedback. Please send any comments about the group certification handbook to

Procter & Gamble also recently worked with Sustainable Brands to create a case study of their partnership with Domtar.