IATP is a non-governmental organization based in Minneapolis, MN. Established in 1986 as a research and education organization, IATP’s focuses on creating environmentally and economically sustainable communities and regions through sound agriculture and trade policy.
IATP started its forestry program to help rural people, including farmers and other landowners, find ways to manage their forests in a profitable and ecologically sound manner. Today they are dedicated to bringing private landowners into the FSC system. They facilitate the development of certified forestry cooperatives, which are designed to bring together multiple small landowners under a single FSC certificate, also called umbrella certification. They developed the Community Forestry Resource Center (www.forestrycenter.org) to provide organizational development and technical assistance for existing and emerging forestry cooperatives. Through a grant from the Minnesota state government, IATP works with forestry professionals to become certified so they can write management plans for landowners planning to join the FSC system. They also assisted SmartWood in the certification of Minnesota’s Cass and Aitkin counties’ lands.Philip Guillery, IATP’s Forestry Project Director, also serves as the Regional Coordinator for the Lake States Working Group. The working group is comprised of 35 forestry professionals charged with the task of developing the regional standards for the forests of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and parts of Ohio and Illinois. The standards were up for their public comment period in the summer of 2001. They are close to approval by the standards committee and the U.S. board and will be ready to be submitted to FSC A.C. at their board meeting in February. We look forward to continued efforts with IATP and their work with small landowners and expertise in mid-western forests.