Forest Management Standards & Policies

Forest Management (FM) certification involves the verification, by a third-party Certifier, that a forest meets FSC's Forest Management Standards. All FSC FM Standards are based on FSC's International Principles & Criteria. At a regional level indicators and verifiers are further developed in order to reflect the unique environmental and social requirements of the region. Regional FM Standards are accredited by FSC International. In Canada there are four regional Forest Management standards:


National Boreal Standard

The Boreal forest occupies 35% of the total Canadian land area and 75% of Canada's total forestland. It forms a continuous belt from the Newfoundland and Labrador coast westwards to the Rocky Mountains and northwestward to Yukon Territory. The FSC National Boreal Standard was accredited in 2004 and applies to the Boreal forest region across the country.

Maritimes Standard

The Maritimes provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island are found in the Acadian forest region. Most of the region's natural forests contain a distinct mix of softwood and hardwood species that are long-lived and shade tolerant. The Maritimes Standard was accredited in 2008 and applies to the Maritimes provinces of Canada.

BC Standard

The forests of British Columbia cover approximately two-thirds of the province, and are more variable physically and biologically than any comparable region in Canada. The FSC BC Standard was accredited in 2005, and is intended for application throughout the province of British Columbia, with the exception for the portion of northern BC where the National Boreal Standard applies

Great Lakes St Lawrence draft Standard

The Great Lakes St. Lawrence forest region is the home of a great diversity of species and habitats. Forestry in deciduous and mixed-deciduous forests of Ontario and Quebec takes place in a landscape that tends to be heavily fragmented, and its ecological integrity at the landscape level is in many regions significantly compromised.

Once approved, the Great Lakes St. Lawrence (GLSL) Standard will be applicable for all forests in the GLSL forest region of Ontario and Quebec, but not west of Lake Superior. The standard will also apply to areas of Ontario that are part of the Carolinian forest region.

GLSL Standard Development Process Update

April 20, 2012 - Following the review and consultation of a draft Great Lakes St. Lawrence Standard in 2010 and 2011, on March 15th, 2011 FSC Canada submitted to FSC International the GLSL Forest Management Standard (Draft 4) for their review and accreditation as per FSC-STD-60-006 v1-2.

On June 22, 2011 FSC International provided FSC Canada with a report highlighting their conditions and recommendations resulting from this review, and which must be met prior to the recommendation of the GLSL standard for accreditation.

After reviewing the conditions, recommendations and with the introduction of the newly revised FSC Principles and Criteria (which form the guiding framework for developing regional forest stewardship standards) FSC Canada’s Board of Directors have decided to postpone the accreditation of the GLSL Standard.

By postponing the accreditation, FSC Canada will now begin the process to align all of our Forest Management Standards (National Boreal Standard, Maritimes Standard, BC Standard and draft Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Standard) with the new Principles and Criteria and review all Forest Management Standards at the same stage of the revision process. FSC Canada will adopt a focused approach that respects previous work, agreements and provides opportunities for focused regional discussions on key indicators. Our aim is to have all of these standards revised by the end of 2013.

Current Forest Management certificates can continue to use the draft field tested GLSL Standard (version 3.0) as a reference, in addition to their Certification Body’s Generic Forest Stewardship Standards (FSC-STD-20-002).

FSC Canada is currently revising our Forest Management Standards. Learn more about the process and how you can get involved.

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