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Technical Updates

Monday, 11 September 2017
FSC US Forest Management Standard 2018-2019 Revision

Forest photo- DRG

September 11, 2017

FSC US would like to announce a revision process for the FSC US Forest Management Standard (v1.0), which will commence in early 2018 and is expected to take approximately two years.

Following is an overview of the scope, objectives and methodology for the process, along with requests for stakeholder participation. More details about the process may be viewed at the revision web page.

In 2010, FSC US completed a full review and revision of the nine FSC US regional standards that culminated in the approval and accreditation of a single FSC US Forest Management (FM) standard.

With an overall goal of maintaining continuity and consistency in the FSC US Forest Management Standard, the 2018-2019 revision will:

  • Align the US FM standard with the new FSC Principles & Criteria, and International Generic Indicators (IGI)
  • Address a small number of high-priority issues identified by stakeholders
  • Incorporate guidance that has been in use, but not formally adopted into the standard
  • Complete editorial and grammatical clarifications

Proposed Priority Issues:
The following potential priorities were identified based upon stakeholder feedback since the last standard revision. However, additional feedback is being sought before the priority issues are finalized. More detailed descriptions are included on the FM revision web page.

  • Regional Requirements – Incorporate regional requirements into the body of the standard after assessing the need for updates.
  • Conservation Lands & High Conservation Values – Formally adopt a methodology for Representative Sample Areas and a national High Conservation Value Framework, improve clarity of guidance on relevant indicators and address the new IGI requirements related to Conservation Areas Networks.
  • Customary/Traditional Rights & Engagement – Evaluate new IGI requirements related to customary and traditional rights and clarify relevant terminology.
  • Family Forest Indicators – Assess the need for updates to these indicators, with special consideration of new guidance on scale, intensity and risk, and any outcomes from FSC’s ‘New Approaches to Smallholder Certification’ initiative.
  • Climate Change – Evaluate how climate change adaptation strategies can be supported by the existing framework of the FSC US FM standard to help promote responsible forest management. NOTE: This issue is not intended to address carbon capture, climate change credits or ‘high carbon stock.’ It is also not intended to represent or replace the FSC ‘Ecosystem Services’ initiative.

FSC US staff will coordinate the process. A working group (WG) that is open to both FSC members and non-members will be formed to advise the Standards Development Group (SDG), based on input from FSC US staff, consultants and technical advisors. The Working Group will be chamber-balanced with at least six individuals, ideally representing a wide diversity of US regions and stakeholder types. The FSC US Board of Directors will be fulfilling the role of SDG. FSC US staff will coordinate all participants and liaise between the Working Group and the FSC US Board of Directors/SDG. To contact the SDG, please send an email to Amy Clark Eagle (

• Working Group develops recommendations for SDG
• SDG consensus on a draft for public consultation
• Initiate 1st public consultation

• 2nd public consultation
• Forest test (new elements only)
• SDG consensus on a final draft
• Submit to FSC International for approval

Stakeholder Participation Requested:
We encourage stakeholder participation in several ways. More details and instructions are available on the FM revision web page.

Please email with questions or for more information.