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Forest Certification

The Marinette County Forest received its formal certificate of third party certification on March 22, 2005. 

Collectively, county forests in Wisconsin represent the largest public landholding in the state. A cooperative management framework between the DNR and the counties provides the opportunity for the county forest group certification program. The DNR holds the certificate for 27 participating counties with 2.4 million acres.

At a certification ceremony on March 18, 2005, Gov. Jim Doyle acknowledged that the county forest program is "a unique partnership that stretches back 76 years and it's a great example how local governments and state agencies can work together in addressing statewide needs."  Wisconsin County Forest Association Director Colette Matthews added, "Our County Forest people have felt for a long time that they have been doing things right.  They are extremely proud of the management being done on these forest lands.  Having their work verified by the certification systems confirms their beliefs and gives all those who work on the County Forests a reason to feel very proud of their accomplishments."

The county forest system provides more than 6,000 miles of snowmobile, ATV, skiing/hiking trails and forest roads along with a wealth of hunting and fishing opportunities.  Forest products from these forests also generate in excess of $21 million dollars annually in timber sale revenue for the counties and townships encompassing these lands plus an additional $17.2 million in economic impact.

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® and Forest Stewardship Council® audit reports identifying strengths and areas of improvement for the Certified Wisconsin County Forest are available for review.

Individual counties are free to choose either or both Sustainable Forestry Initiative® and Forest Stewardship Council® standards. These are the two most widely accepted forest certification systems in North America.  NSF-International Strategic Registrations and Scientific Certification Systems provided the evaluation and certification.

Twenty-seven of Wisconsin's 29 county forests are currently certificated under the standards of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, the Forest Stewardship Council or both.  Independent, third-party certification means management of the county forests meets strict standards for ecological, social and economic sustainability.