The Southern Environmental Law Center plans to file an objection over acreage perceived as being left at risk under U.S. Forest Service plan for Western North Carolina’s national forests.
Less than 0.1% of all small woodlands are currently certified as responsibly managed, despite making up over 75% of all privately owned Southeast forests. The SAP pilot, a collaboration of forest product companies, the Forest Stewardship Council and Rainforest Alliance, is exploring how to bring those previously overlooked parcels into certified status.
Collectively, small private landowners hold over half of all forest lands in Western North Carolina. Encouraging these landowners to practice sustainable forest management, experts say, is critically important to addressing the effects of climate change, combating invasive species and pests, and preserving biological diversity.