The FSC-US Regional Standards Review Process (SRP) has completed Phase I—the development of the Methodology and its review by the expert panel and public. The SRP is currently in the final parts of Phase II and the preliminary assessment of all Indicators for all Principles and Criteria. Phase II included an outreach to landowners, certification bodies, and environmental groups for advance assessment. The outreach resulted in many separate assessments of regional standards that have been incorporated into the preliminary assessment. Phase III will be initiated in the coming weeks with outreach to subject matter experts. In the interest of expediency, Phase III will begin for some Principles for which the preliminary assessment has been completed while simultaneously finalizing Phase II on other Principles.
Once the draft assessment is completed, the document and the SRP findings will be open for public review. It is during this period that all interested parties should make the time to assess and provide commentary on the work. The SRP is designed to provide feedback to FSC-US on the scientific and social validity, abilities to implement and audit, and the completeness of the regional standards. Through the SRP, guidelines can be provided on how the standards can be most functional in measuring compliance with the goals established in the FSC Principles and Criteria. This cannot be achieved without thorough participation from those that are invested in socially and environmentally sound forestry practices. There will be an announcement for the public review in forthcoming issues of News & Views. All FSC members, certificate holders, certification bodies, and parties already involved in the process will receive notice in an email.