UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Forest certification assessment methods used in the United States Hayward, Jeffrey William 1998

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-ubc_1998-0462.pdf [ 7.99MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0075391.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0075391-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0075391-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0075391-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0075391-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0075391-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0075391-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0075391-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0075391.ris

Full Text

FOREST CERTIFICATION ASSESSMENT METHODS USED IN T H E UNITED STATES by JEFFREY WILLIAM HAYWARD BA, University of Washington, 1988 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL F U L F I L L M E N T OF T H E REQUIREMENTS FOR T H E DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE in T H E FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Faculty of Forestry) (Department of Forest Resource Management) We accept this thesis as confonriingj to the^required. standard T H E U N / ^ R S I T y 1 5 f B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A June 1998 © Jeffrey William Hayward, 1998 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT The global emergence of forest certification during the 1990's has profoundly shaped the developments and discourse related to forest conservation throughout the decade. The drive to implement forest certification has led to the formation of an entirely new framework of forestry institutions, policies, standards, sustainability measures, marketing approaches, lending practices, and research initiatives. In response to global concerns about deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and the need for sustainable forests, certification arose as a non-regulatory, incentive based strategy to recognize leaders in forest management. At the forefront of forest certification in North America have been the Rainforest Alliance SmartWood Program and Scientific Certification Systems' Forest Conservation Program. This research describes scientific rationale and technical methods used in forest assessments by these two dominant certification programs in the United States during the first five years of active certification of forest management in North America. A comparison was made of each program based on the methods forest assessors said they used to evaluate a chosen sub-set of certification criteria. The research questions explored in this inquiry were: (1) How do forest assessors determine that program criteria defined in written standards have been met, or likely will be met, by a client forest operation? (2) What similarities and differences exist in the indicators used by SCS and SmartWood forest assessors to evaluate criteria, and how are those indicators ii measured? (3) How do these certification programs provide assurance of credibility and consistency? A survey of forest assessors who had done assessments for SCS or Smart Wood in the US was the chosen research method. The study population was defined as those individuals who had been on an SCS or, SmartWood assessment team between November 1992 and June 1997 for an assessment that resulted in certification. Thirty-eight forest assessors from a population of 40 were surveyed. The survey consisted of a written questionnaire and an in-depth personal interviews. It was found that SCS and SmartWood assessors used similar approaches to evaluate forest management systems and forest conditions for the sub-set of program criteria queried. Assessors tended to choose similar indicators with similar frequency. The indicators assessors suggested were mostly process or gdal-oriented and performance based, rather than being highly-prescriptive. The assessment process was relatively informal in terms of data collection or measurement. In fact, few measurements were actually made. Instead, the evaluation was a triad featuring an exhaustive document review, interviews of forest managers, owners, and stakeholders, and a field reconnaissance. In spite of this subjectivity, assessors maintained that the process was a credible one and would likely improve over time. In five years of active certification, SCS and SmartWood have created equivalent methods that guide forest assessors to a common and critical set of questions, that share consensus amongst assessors from both programs. These findings should provide more confidence in SCS and SmartWood certification procedures than could previously be established. iii TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT i i LIST OF TABLES ix LIST OF FIGURES xi A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S xii 1. I N T R O D U C T I O N A N D LITERATURE REVIEW 1 1.1 B A C K G R O U N D 2 1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT 7 1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS A N D OBJECTIVES 8 1.4 THESIS ORGANIZATION 10 1.5 LITERATURE REVIEW 12 1.5.1 What were the motivations for developing forest certification? 12 1.5.2 What are the general requirements of a certification system? 14 1.5.3 What are the constituents of a standard for the certification offorest management? 16 1.5.4 How do certification systems define sustainable forest management? 19 1.5.5 What forest certification programs have been developed? 23 1.5.6 How has forest products marketing been linked to certification? 24 1.5.7 What has been the criticism of forest certification? 26 2. M E T H O D O L O G Y 29 2.1 RESEARCH A P P R O A C H 29 2.2 DEFINITION OF THE POPULATION 30 2.3 DEVELOPMENT OF SURVEY INSTRUMENTS 30 2.4 C O N D U C T I N G THE SURVEY 32 2.5 D A T A ANALYSIS 33 2.6 PROBLEMS WITH THE SURVEY 37 3. C O M P A R I S O N OF ASSESSMENT M E T H O D S A N D INDICATORS USED BY FOREST ASSESSORS TO E V A L U A T E SELECTED CERTIFICATION CRITERIA 40 3.1 INTRODUCTION 40 3.2 COMPARISON OF SCS A N D SMARTWOOD CERTIFICATION PROCEDURES 41 3.2.1 Step 1 - Initial Contact 42 3.2.2 Step 2 - Preliminary Evaluation 42 3.2.3 Step 3 - Contract 42 3.2.4 Step 4 - Assessment Team 43 3.2.5 Step 5 - Forest Assessment 43 3.2.6 Step 6 - Assessment Report 44 3.2.7 Step 7 • External Peer Review 44 3.2.8 Step 8 - Certification Decision 45 3.2.9 Step 9 - Public Notification 45 3.2.10 Step 10 - Annual Audits 46 3.3 FOREST ASSESSMENT 46 3.3.1 Defining Forest Assessment 46 3.3.2 Forest Assessors & Assessment Teams 47 3.3.3 Assessment Work Days 49 3.3.4 Sampling Methods 51 3.3.5 Interviews with Managers and Stakeholders 54 3.3.6 Scoring Criteria 56 3.3.7 Forest Assessment Summary 59 3.4 FOREST M A N A G E M E N T P L A N N I N G 60 3.4.1 Forest Management Planning Criteria Articulated in FSC, SCS, and SmartWood Protocols 61 3.4.2 Components of Forest Management Plan • FSC, SCS, and Smart Wood 63 3.4.3 Assessment ofForest Management Plan as Surveyed in Interview of SCS and SmartWood Forest Assessors 65 3.4.4 Indicator 1: Are Forest Managers Doing What They Said They Would Do? 66 3.4.5 Indicator 2: Is there Commitment to, and Understanding of, the Management Plan?. 68 3.4.6 Forest Management Planning Indicators Stated by Less Than 20% of the Assessors 69 3.4.7 Forest Management Planning Summary 70 3.5 FOREST INVENTORY A C C U R A C Y 71 3.5.1 Forest Inventory Criteria Articulated in FSC, SCS, and SmartWood Protocols 72 3.5.2 Assessment of Forest Inventory Accuracy as Surveyed in Interview of SCS and Smart Wood Forest Assessors 75 3.5.3 Indicator 1: How Well Do Actual Forest and Stands Compare to Inventory Data, Maps, or Aerial Photographs? 76 3.5.4 Indicator 2: How Credible or Sound are the Methods to Produce the Inventory? 77 3.5.5 Indicator 3: How Well Can Foresters Defend Their Understanding of the Inventory System? 78 3.5.6 Indicator 4: Is the Inventory Thorough, Not Lacking Coverage of Significant Resources?. 79 3.5.7 Forest Inventory Accuracy Indicators Stated by Less than 20% of the Assessors 79 3.5.8 Forest Inventory Accuracy Summary 80 3.6 SUSTAINABLE HARVEST 81 3.6.1 Sustainable Harvest Criteria Articulated in FSC, SCS, and SmartWood Protocols 82 3.6.2 Assessment of Sustainable Harvest as Surveyed in Interview of SCS and SmartWood Forest Assessors 85 3.6.3 Indicator 1: How Sound is the Forest Manager's System to Predict Future Forest Growth and Yield? 87 3.6.4 Indicator 2: Does Harvest Volume Exceed Growth Increment?. 88 3.6.5 Indicator 3: How Conservative is the Rate of Harvest, by A rea, at a Landscape Level? 89 3.6.6 Indicator 4: Are Forest Function and Structure, Particularly Older Age and Larger Size Classes, Being Maintained?. 91 3.6.7 Indicator 5: Is Harvesting Eliminating Tree Species that are Ecologically Important or of High Commercial Value? 92 3.6.8 Indicator 6: Do Actual Harvests Follow Planned or Modeled Harvests? 93 3.6.9 Sustainable Harvest Indicators Stated by Less than 20% of the Assessors 94 3.6.10 Sustainable Harvest Summary 94 3.7 FOREST ECOSYSTEM M A I N T E N A N C E 95 3.7.1 Forest Ecosystem Maintenance Criteria Articulated in FSC, SCS, and SmartWood Protocols 97 3.7.2 Forest Regeneration 100 3.7.2.1 Forest Regeneration Criteria Articulated in FSC, SCS, and SmartWood Protocols..... 100 3.7.2.2 Assessment of Forest Regeneration as Surveyed in Interview of SCS and SmartWood Forest Assessors 102 3.7.2.3 Indicator 1: Is there successful regeneration occurring? 103 3.7.2.4 Indicator 2: Is there conversion of forest type? 104 3.7.2.5 Indicator 3: Are silvicultural treatments varied in intensity or frequency at the landscape level? 105 3.7.2.6 Indicator 4: Are forest managers retaining components of stand diversity? 106 3.7.2.7 Indicator 5: Are silvicultural treatments soundly based on silvics and ecology? 107 3.7.2.8 Indicator 6: Does the manager have a system to evaluate regeneration success? 109 3.7.2.9 Forest Regeneration Summary 109 3.7.3 Site Quality 110 3.7.3.1 Site Quality Criteria Articulated in FSC, SCS, and SmartWood Protocols 112 3.7.3.2 Assessment of Site Quality as Surveyed in Interview of SCS and SmartWood Forest Assessors 114 3.7.3.3 Indicator 1: Is compaction and rutting avoided? 114 3.7.3.4 Indicator 2: Is soil erosion occurring? 116 3.7.3.5 Indicator 3: To what extent is soil organic matter retained on site? 116 3.7.3.6 Indicator 4: To what extent does the road system impact site quality? 117 3.7.3.7 Site Quality Indicators Stated by Less than 20% of the Assessors 118 3.7.3.8 Site Quality Summary 120 3.7.4 Riparian Area Management 120 3.7.4.1 Riparian Quality Criteria Articulated in FSC, SCS, and SmartWood Protocols 121 3.7.4.2 Assessment of Riparian Quality as Surveyed in Interview of SCS and SmartWood Forest Assessors 125 vi 3.7.4.3 Planning Indicator 1 : To what extent do managers meet or exceed minimum requirements of forestry regulations or best management practices? 126 3.7.4.4 Planning Indicator 2: Does management have an explicit policy for riparian management areas? 126 3.7.4.5 Planning Indicator 3: Do managers demonstrate sensitivity to the importance of riparian areas? 127 3.7.4.6 Operations/Practices Indicator 1: How does road construction and road maintenance minimize impact on riparian areas? 127 3.7.4.7 Operations/Practices Indicator 2: Is width and application of buffer zones sufficient for riparian protection? 128 3.7.4.8 Operations/Practices Indicator 3: Is machinery kept out of stream zones? 128 3.7.4.9 Conditions of Riparian Areas Indicator 1: Do channel or pool conditions indicate erosion, siltation, or sedimentation? 129 3.7.4.10 Conditions of Riparian Areas Indicator 2: To what extent is canopy cover maintained in riparian areas? 130 3.7.4.11 Riparian Area Management Summary 130 3.7.5 Species Conservation 131 3.7.5.1 FSC Principles and Criteria for Species Conservation 132 3.7.5.2 Assessment of Species Conservation as Surveyed in Interview of SCS and SmartWood Forest Assessors 134 3.7.5.3 Indicator 1: Is there demonstrated commitment to planning and implementing conservation objectives? 135 3.7.5.4 Indicator 2: To what extent do forest conditions demonstrate manager willingness to modify treatments to create habitat or protect unique areas? 137 3.7.5.5 Indicator 3: Are forest managers implementing a program to identify, maintain, or protect rare, threatened, or endangered species or ecosystems? 138 3.7.5.6 Indicator 4: Are forest managers acquiring inventory data for non-timber biological resources? 139 3.7.5.7 Indicator 5: Do conservation objectives comply with, or exceed, state or federal regulations or guidelines for the region? 139 3.7.5.8 Species Conservation Summary 140 4. ASSESSING SELECTED VARIABLES A N D ASSURING CONSISTENCY I N T H E ABSENCE OF OBJECTIVE MEASUREMENTS 141 4.1 INTRODUCTION 141 4.2 ASSESSING SELECTED VARIABLES 141 4.2.1 Forest Management Planning 142 4.2.2 Sustainable Harvest Levels 145 4.2.3 Silviculture Planning 147 4.2.4 Summary 149 4.3 ASSURING CREDIBILITY A N D CONSISTENCY 150 4.3.1 Assessor Responses to Credibility and Consistency Issues Expressed in Interview Question 151 vii 4.3.2 Consistency Through Standards : 153 4.3.3 Consistency Through Assessor Professionalism 154 4.3.4 Consistency Through Program Protocols 155 4.3.5 Assuring Credibility and Consistency Summary . 156 5. DISCUSSION A N D CONCLUSIONS 159 5.1 DISCUSSION 159 5.2 CONCLUSIONS 163 LITERATURE CITED '. 167 APPENDIX I SURVEY OF CERTIFIERS OF FOREST M A N A G E M E N T (PARTS I A N D II) 175 APPENDIX II C H R O N O L O G Y OF FOREST ASSESSMENTS A N D ASSESSMENT TEAMS I N C L U D E D I N THIS STUDY 184 viii LIST OF TABLES Table Page 1-1 US forests certified by SCS or SmartWood - Nov. 1992 to June 1997 5 3-1 SCS and SmartWood assessor demographic profile 48 3-2 Days for field and office components of forest assessment 50 3-3 Sampling methods used by SCS and SmartWood forest assessors 53 3-4 Types of individuals and organizations interviewed by SCS or SmartWood assessors during forest assessments in the US 56 3-5 SmartWood scoring system 57 3-6 Example of SCS weighted criteria 58 3-7 Components of forest management plan - FSC, SCS, and SmartWood 64 3-8 Indicators SCS and SmartWood assessors used to evaluate the implementation of the forest management plan in US forest assessments 66 3-9 Indicators SCS and SmartWood assessors used to evaluate the accuracy of the forest inventory in US forest assessments.. 76 3-10 Indicators SCS and SmartWood assessors used to evaluate the sustainability of harvest levels in US forest assessments 86 3-11 Indicators SCS and SmartWood assessors used to evaluate that forest regeneration would maintain ecosystem diversity in US forest assessments 103 3-12 Indicators SCS and SmartWood assessors used to evaluate site quality in US forest assessments 114 3-13 Indicators SCS and SmartWood assessors used to evaluate riparian quality in US forest assessments 125 3-14 Indicators SCS and SmartWood assessors used to evaluate species conservation in US forest assessments 135 ix Table Page 4-1 Expected length of the forest management plan 142 4-2 How often should forest management plans be updated? 143 4-3 Most important sources of data used to assess forest inventory 144 4-4 Did assessment team analyze projections of future growth and yield? 145 4-5 Did assessment team review current written silviculture prescriptions? 147 4-6 Did assessment team review past written silviculture prescriptions? 148 4-7 How far back were written silviculture prescriptions reviewed? 148 4-8 Assessor responses on SCS and SmartWood certification systems which help assure consistency 153 x LIST OF FIGURES Figure Page 1.1 Conceptual framework of forest management standards 17 3.1 SCS & SmartWood certification process 41 3.2 Distribution of SCS and SmartWood certified forests by area 49 4.1 How far forward forest growth and yield projections should forecast 146 xi A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S In making the journey around the US to conduct this research, I met many intelligent and thoughtful resource professionals dedicating their lives to improving forestry. I am grateful for their time and the teaching I received from them. Many thanks are due each participant in this study who let themselves be interviewed. I hope they know how valuable I found their sharing of knowledge. I especially appreciate the cooperation of the Rainforest Alliance SmartWood Program and Scientific Certification Systems Forest Conservation Program. I am also indebted to those foresters and owners of the certified forests in the US who made the effort to take me on personal visits of their forestlands. For the opportunity to come to UBC, I acknowledge the instrumental role of Dr. Ron Woznow and the Centre for Environmental Labeling. Special thanks go to Charlie Walkinshaw, of Experience International, who got me interested in forest certification in the first place. For academic guidance and encouragement, I thank those faculty members who took an interest in certification during my residence at UBC. Especially, Dr. Gordon Baskerville, for his wisdom regarding the science of forest management, and Dr. David Cohen and Dr. Hamish Kimmins, for their perspectives on certification. Dr. Robert Kozak was a huge help in survey design and analysis. Financial support for this research was provided in part by the Sustainable Forest Management Network Centres of Excellence. I am particularly fortunate for the interest of Dr. David Tait and Dr. Ilan Vertinsky, who involved me in the SFM-NCE. To live in Vancouver for any period of time is a rich experience. The richness of this one was made more memorable by many friends whose laughter, antics, food, skiing, and intelligence kept me going. Most notably, I give thanks to Wolfgang Vrzal, Bernhard Splechtna, Lucia Gussner, Andrea Prinz, Rob Serrouya, Bob Kull, Renel Mitchell, and Jeff Shatford. I am grateful for the constant support of my family and friends spread across this earth, especially when it seemed I might never leave my adopted Canadian home. Whenever I could stand reminding, Daria Zovi kept me convinced that sustainability is a beautiful notion. Finally, Lara Barclay made the atmosphere more breathable when I most needed air. JWH xii C H A P T E R 1 1. I N T R O D U C T I O N A N D LITERATURE REVIEW Forest certification emerged as a market-based mechanism to promote forest conservation in the tropics, but it has evolved during the 1990's to encompass the broader goal of improving forest management in tropical, temperate, and boreal forests. In this thesis, certification of forest management is defined as a voluntary, independent, third-party verification of forest conditions and management systems according to the criteria of an established standard (adapted from Baharrudin and Simula 1994; Upton and Bass 1995). This definition poses two current complexities facing certification programs. First, the standards and verification procedures are newly established and only well known to forest assessors and managers who have been involved in the process. Second, this lack of wider understanding may limit acceptance of certification amongst forest managers or consumers of forest products. This study examines the standards and the forest assessment methods used by the two dominant certification programs1 in the United States: the Rainforest Alliance SmartWood Program and Scientific Certification Systems' Forest Conservation Program. A systematic comparison of the perspectives of forest assessors who implemented these certification programs in the United States is offered. 1 Certification program is the term that will be used in this thesis to mean 'certification bodies' or 'certifier'. 1 1.1 B A C K G R O U N D From November 1992 to June 1997, two certification programs did all the forest certification in the United States. First, the Rainforest Alliance, a non-profit organization based in New York, New York, established the SmartWood Program (SmartWood) in 1990. Second, Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), a for-profit company based in Oakland, California, established the Forest Conservation Program (FCP) in 1991. The SmartWood Program formed the SmartWood Network2 in 1994 to be a collaborative network of independent non-profit organizations committed to forest assessments, monitoring, and certification. The SmartWood Network is comprised of regional members and collaborators—organizations worldwide working on forest certification, although not exclusively, as a means of improving forest management. SmartWood Network organizations, with regional offices, full-time staff, and other resources have been largely responsible for conducting SmartWood forest assessments in the US (Rainforest Alliance 1995). Conversely, SCS has maintained a centralized program based in Oakland and has carried out its certification activities by contracting independent consultants. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accredited both certification programs in 1995. The FSC, founded in 1993, has become an internationally recognized accreditation body of certification programs. FSC-accredited certification programs must incorporate in their evaluation systems the ten principles and criteria that comprise the FSC Principles and Criteria for Forest Management (FSC P&C). The FSC mediates disputed certificates, offers a single logo for certified forest products, and oversees the development of FSC regional and 2 Organizations in the SmartWood Network included in this research were: Olympic Peninsula Foundation, Port Townsend, WA; Rogue Institute for Ecology and Economy, Ashland, Oregon; Institute for Sustainable 2 national standards. At present, certification in the US used the standards developed independently by SCS or SmartWood, but which comply to the FSC P&C. During the period studied, the FSC had not approved a regional or national FSC standard in the US, which meant that SCS and SmartWood standards largely defined certifiable forest management. SCS and SmartWood have certified forestry operations as being "Well-Managed Forests". Broadly defined, a "Well-Managed Forest" would imply that forest management was assessed to be "environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable" (FSC 1996). A certified operation can make claims to the public that they are a "Well-Managed Forest". This designation means that the operation met the standards of forest management of the certification program that were in compliance with the FSC P&C. The SCS and SmartWood certification programs certified a diversity of forest operations in the US during the five year period from November 1992 to November 1997, shown in Table 1-1. The differences among these 21 certified forests should underscore the fundamental complexity of certifying forest management—every situation is unique. The forest ownerships ranged in size from 3.6 hectares to 485,000 hectares. The tenure types included private forest companies, municipal and state public lands, non-industrial private forest owners, consulting foresters, and Indian tribal lands. Forests were in California, Georgia, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin. These states vary in terms of their forest regulations and public expectations of forest management. The forest types under management have also varied considerably. Certified forests included major eastern forest type Forestry, Willits, CA; Sigurd Olsen Environmental Institute of Northland College, Ashland, WI; National Wildlife Federation, Montpelier, VT; and Southeastern Forest Trust, Gainesville, FL. 3 groups, such as white-red-jack pine, spruce-fir, longleaf-slash pine, oak-pine, oak-hickory, maple-beech-birch, and aspen-birch. Certified forests in major western forest type groups included redwood, Douglas-fir, hemlock-sitka spruce, ponderosa pine, and western hardwoods. The consequence of this diversity among forest operations, is that both certification programs have had to accommodate wide biological and socioeconomic variation in their standards and forest assessment procedures. 4 Table 1-1. US forests certified by SCS or SmartWood - Nov. 1992 to June 1997 Forest Operation Type Hectares State Certifier Private Forest Companies Big Creek Lumber Co. 2,752 California SCS Collins Pine Co. 38,042 California SCS Kane Hardwoods 49,373 Pennsylvania SCS Keweenaw Land Association, Ltd. 62,713 Michigan sw Menominee Tribal Enterprises 88,320 Wisconsin SCS + sw Red Hills Lumber 2,932 Georgia/Florida sw Seven Islands Land Management Co. 394,583 Maine scs Public Land Management Agencies Aitkin County Land Commission 89,455 Minnesota sw Metropolitan District Commission 23,482 Massachusetts sw Quabbin Reservoir Lands Minnesota Department of Natural 146,000 Minnesota sw Resources Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry 485,000 Pennsylvania SCS Non-Industrial Private Krantz-Kahan Property 24.3 California sw McClellen Mountain Ranch 121 California sw Surface Road Associates 12.1 Washington sw Tree Shepherd Woods 3.6 Washington sw Our Lady of the Redwoods Abby, Inc. 162 California sw Wylatti Timber Management Company, 364 California sw Ltd. Resource Manager Blencowe Managed Forest Lands 4,700 California sw Individual Tree Selection Management, 2,033 Oregon sw Inc. Northeast Ecologically Sustainable 1,360 New Hampshire sw Timber Two Trees Forestry 3,557 Maine sw 5 SCS and SmartWood certified nearly 1,395,000 hectares in the US from their inception until December 1997. SmartWood certified 425,230 hectares and SCS certified 1,058,070 (The two organizations jointly certified Menominee Tribal Enterprises, 88,320 hectares.) Globally, as of June 30, 1998, the area of certified forests totaled 10, 339, 392 hectares. This was a marked increase from the 6,502,793 hectares certified by January 1998 and the 3,100,000 hectares certified by September 1997 (FSC 1998). In addition to SCS and SmartWood, there are other North American organizations offering certification of forest management, or a facsimile thereof, not covered in this study. After a review of the protocols and history of the following organizations, it was determined that they either did not have a substantial track record to permit meaningful analysis, or, that they did not offer certification according to the definition used herein. In Canada, an important and recent initiative for certification was developed by the not-for-profit Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and approved by the Standards Council of Canada as a National Standard in Canada. The CSA published the standard CAN/CSA-Z808, A Sustainable Forest Management System: Guidance Document, and CAN/CSA-Z809, A Sustainable Forest Management System: Specification Document, in October 1996. These established the protocols for 'registration' of a defined forest area. The CSA standard was designed to be consistent with and compatible to ISO 14001 and ISO 14004 series of environmental management systems established by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO). Several companies have been audited in gap analysis assessments to determine weaknesses in their management system in relation to the published CSA standards. 6 However, as of December 1997, no sustainable forest management system had been audited or registered to the CSA Standards C A N / C S A Z808-Z8093. The American Forest and Paper Association (AFPA) Sustainable Forest Initiative, developed for the US private forest sector, does not meet the definition of a certification program. It is not voluntary, since membership in AFPA is contingent on participation in the program. It is not independent, since auditing compliance to the standards does not have to be done by a third-party (American Forest and Paper Association 1996). The Alberta ForestCare Program was designed primarily as a self improvement program for members of the Alberta Forest Products Association, and is limited in scope to Alberta. The ForestCare program was expressly not a consumer driven initiative (ForestCare 1997). The Silva Forest Foundation (SFF), of British Columbia is a small, non-profit organization. In 1995, SFF certified two logging operations of the Small Business Enterprise Program (36 hectares) in Vernon, British Columbia as "ecologically responsible forestry". However, the FSC has not accredited the SFF and, although it has draft certification standards for ecologically responsible forestry, at this stage it is still an emerging program. Again, for the reasons discussed above, this study did not include the CSA, AFPA, Alberta ForestCare, or SFF. 1.2 P R O B L E M STATEMENT As leaders in US forest certification, SCS and SmartWood have established the ground rules. They are in a position to influence, and should have a profound effect on, future certification initiatives in the US. One issue of fundamental concern to be evaluated in this 3 As of December 1997, no forestry operation in Canada had announced FSC certification status. The first FSC certification in Canada was the Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve in Haliburton, Ontario. 22,015 hectares certified by SmartWood and announced spring 1998. 7 thesis is whether they offer the forest manager, or the forest products consumer, an equivalent degree of technical rigor in their assessments. It should be apparent that validating a claim about the quality of forest management is rather complex. This is due to the variability in forests and the variability in the minds of assessors who would evaluate the management of a given forest. Even though these programs assert that it is possible to determine that the quality of on-the-ground forest management satisfies a comprehensive set of criteria, there is the potential, and risk, that they are uneven, or inconsistent, processes. Since the decision making process in forest assessments has been largely dependent on the individuals involved, this study was to ascertain how assessors adhered to the intent of the programs they represented. 1.3 R E S E A R C H QUESTIONS A N D OBJECTIVES The purpose of this study is to compare methods used in forest assessment— the most critical, and least known, aspect of current certification programs—to offer greater understanding of the evaluation process. This information will benefit forestry professionals interested in certification, especially forest assessors and managers, regarding what assessment teams do in a formal certification assessment. There were three research questions explored in this inquiry: 1) How do forest assessors determine that program criteria defined in written standards have been met, or likely will be met, by a client forest operation? 2) What similarities and differences exist in the indicators used by SCS and SmartWood forest assessors to evaluate criteria? 8 3) How do these certification programs provide assurance of credibility and consistency? In structuring research to answer these questions, it quickly became clear that scant information on the mechanics of conducting field forest assessments was available, even though general process information was readily available. There has not been a systematic study covering a comprehensive group of individuals involved with implementation of FSC-accredited certification assessment processes. The readily available information included, first of all, written standards of both the SCS and SmartWood certification programs. In a generic, but somewhat abstract way, these documents explain how the program is carried out for a hypothetical forest. Each program has an assessment manual that delineates the steps forest assessors follow to auditing forest management. Brief summaries of the certification assessment reports are public, although limited in detail regarding assessment procedures. Few published sources discuss the implementation of certification protocols in real, on-the-ground, situations. The specific findings and scoring rationale written in final certification reports are confidential information between the certification program and the client, and therefore extremely limited in availability. Only reports on public land management agencies have been publicly accessible. The result is that the techniques professional forest assessors used to substantiate criterion-by-criterion decisions are not well known. Therefore, certification programs and the specific forest assessments in the US have been exposed to limited external scrutiny. 9 One purpose of this research has been to go beyond the written protocols of these certification programs and investigate the perspectives of the forest assessors who determined what was certified. Approximately 40 natural resource professionals worked on SCS and SmartWood forest assessments of the 21 forests assessed (and later certified) between November 1992 and June of 1997. (See Appendix II.) A survey of these forest assessors was conducted by a written questionnaire and by structured in-depth interviews. Field research included in-person interviews with forest assessors who could be visited in-person from April to July 1997 and phone interviews with those who could not be visited in-person from August until December 1997. The following research objectives were intended by examining the above research questions: 1. ) Describe common or different methods of assessment and verification of forest management planning and practices for selected criteria. 2. ) Summarize and rank the importance of indicators used to evaluate selected criteria. 3. ) Offer assessor explanations on what assured credibility and consistency to the assessment process. 1.4 THESIS O R G A N I Z A T I O N The thesis is organized in five chapters. Chapter 1 is an introduction and literature review. Chapter 2 outlines and describes the methodology. Chapter 3 and chapter 4 offer results from the in-depth interviews and the written questionnaire. Chapter 5 includes author comments and conclusion. 10 Chapter 3 compares assessment methods used by forest assessors to evaluate selected certification criteria pertaining to forest management planning, forest inventory, sustainable harvest, and forest ecosystem maintenance. Chapter 3 is divided into seven sections. The first three sections provide an introduction, an overview of the certification process, and a comparison of broad assessment attributes. Beginning with section 3.4, all subsequent sections in Chapter 3 are organized in the following manner. First, there is an introduction that proposes how the forest management issue under consideration is important to the forest assessment process. Second, the forest management issue is established as a criterion to a standard in context of written criteria of the FSC, SCS, and SmartWood. Third, the data from the interviews are presented in a table of indicators organized according to the frequency with which assessors stated the indicator. Fourth, the indicators are explained and verification methods or related concerns are described. A summary closes each section. Chapter 4 has two sections. The first compares the extent to which the assessors interviewed felt the assessment of some selected planning and ecological variables reflected the intent of the process in a typical evaluation. The second summarizes forest assessor perspectives on how SCS and SmartWood ensure a credible and consistent certification process. Chapter 5 is a brief discussion and conclusion of the common experience and challenges of forest certification for SCS and SmartWood. 11 1.5 LITERATURE REVIEW Since 1989 there has been an enormous amount of writing related to the topic of forest certification. Most has been written since the Rio Earth Summit, U N C E D , in 1992. The majority of articles on the subject would be considered 'gray literature', nonetheless, such literature elucidates the thinking behind certification. In this thesis, the presentation of the literature on forest certification will proceed by major themes. The themes discussed in this study are: • What were the motivations for developing forest certification?; • What are the general requirements of a certification program?; • What constitutes a standard for certification of forest management?; • How do SCS and SmartWood define sustainable forest management?; • What forest certification programs have been developed?; • How has forest products marketing been linked to certification?; • What has been the criticism of forest certification?; The literature review provides a context for this research and also demonstrates that there are a multitude of compelling issues related to certification which this study can not address. 1.5.1 What were the motivations for developing forest certification? More than any other single reason, the impetus for certification was to identify sustainable management in a world where mismanagement of forests was considered rampant 12 (Cabarle 1994; SGS Silviconsult Ltd. 1994). Intergovernmental initiatives, such as the International Tropical Timber Agreement (1985), the Tropical Forest Action Plan (1985), and the Forest Principles and Agenda 21 from U N C E D in 1992, emerged to confront mismanagement of forests globally. (Baharuddin 1995; Bennett et al. 1997; Society of American Foresters 1995). Poore etal. (1989) estimated that good forest management occurred on 1% of the tropical forests being harvested and concluded that the future of tropical forests was in jeopardy due to rapid rates of deforestation. The F A O (1992) estimated the rate of tropical deforestation at 17 million hectares per year. Elliot and Hackman (1996) summarized the problems of mismanagement in temperate and boreal forests, which Noss (1993) characterized as the decline of old-growth, shifting production into younger age class stands, the simplification of stand composition through intensive silviculture, and increased fragmentation of forests into smaller, more isolated patches. Most frequently, the issues leading to the development of certification were related to growing public awareness of deforestation and loss of biodiversity (Bass 1997; von Mirbach 1997). Societal pressures to improve forestry was certainly global in scope (Cabarle and de Freitas 1995) and attributable to growing environmental movements (Society of American Foresters 1995). Fox (1995) characterized the environmental movement as one "driven by millions of concerned citizens bombarded by stories of forest degradation." According to Schneider (1996) the same public who were concerned about dwindling rain forests and loss of biodiversity became catalysts for timber boycotts. However, the concern was that timber boycotts could potentially reduce the value of tropical forests and contribute to, rather than impede, deforestation (Eastin et al. 1995). Indeed, certification developed as an alternative to 13 boycotts (Heaton 1994). Some attributed the emergence of certification to a perceived ineffectiveness of governmental forest regulations (Society of American Foresters 1995; von Mirbach 1997). According to Bowyer, (1994) prior to environmental marketing, "there was little incentive for the private sector to address environmental matters except as mandated by legislation or threatened by litigation." Finally, it has been hypothesized that certification could identify regional examples of good forest management that would serve as model operations for other forest managers to emulate (Viana 1994). 1.5.2 What are the general requirements of a certification system? Baharuddin and Simula (1993) were the first to outline the general requirements of a reliable, effective certification system. • "Credible to consumers; • Comprehensive to include all types of timbers and timber products; • Objective and measurable criteria; • Reliable in assessment results; • Independent from parties with vested interests; • Voluntary in participation; • Equal treatment, non-discriminatory in trade impact; • Acceptable to the involved parties to make it feasible; • Institutionally adapted to local conditions; • Cost-effective to minimize impact on production costs; • Transparent to allow external judgment; • Goal oriented and effective in reaching the main objectives; • Practical and operational to avoid bureaucracy; • Applicable to all scales of operation, including forests managed by local communities." There has been general agreement that the above points are important to effective certification systems. Additional components to certification systems have been suggested. Eliot (1996) suggested that they be "credible to conservation NGOs". Thus extending the 14 point of consumer credibility to the millions of members of conservation NGOs, whom it is hoped will support certification. Centeno (1996) championed the use of "national-level forestry criteria compatible with generally agreed upon international principles to permit international recognition of different countries' standards." Rotherham (1997) mentioned that certification systems should "be developed by the private sector through an open, multi-interest process and credible to forest professionals and scientists." Speechly (1995) voiced the concern of many professionals, saying that certification programs should "use non-prescriptive standards, to account for the great variability of forest and stand conditions." It is widely recognized that certification systems carry out two distinct functions (Baharuddin and Simula 1994; Bass 1996). They verify the quality of forest management against a standard and/or verify (from the certified source to the consumer) the tracking system and labeling of forest products. FSC-accredited certification programs currently follow procedures to certify forest management and forest products. The ISO approach to forest management certification will involve a performance and management systems audit. An ISO technical report, forming a "bridging document" to ISO 14001 environmental management systems standards, will reference established forest management criteria and indicators as a means to provide performance targets within a client's registered ISO 14001 environmental management system (Shirley 1997). Current ISO initiatives have been fitted to forest management certification and not the labeling or certification of forest products (Shirley 1997). The CSA standard (CSA 1996) and the European Eco-Management Auditing Scheme (EMAS), are expressly for certification of forest management and do not certify forest products (Upton and Bass 1995). 15 1.5.3 What are the constituents of a standard for the certification of forest management? As certification of forest management is an audit process against established standards, agreement on what constitutes a standard is extremely important. Standards can be management systems standards that specify management processes used to achieve desired results or they can be performance standards that specify desired results (Standards New Zealand 1996; Simula 1996). The first primarily evaluates how people are managed, while the second primarily evaluates how the resource is managed. The ISO and FSC accepted definition for standard is: "documented agreements containing technical specifications or other precise criteria to be used consistently as rules, guidelines, or definitions of characteristics, to ensure that materials, products, processes and services, are fit for their purpose." (Upton and Bass 1995) The FSC accreditation manual further states that "standards should be based on consolidated results of science, technology and experience, and aimed at the promotion of optimum community benefits" (Wenban-Smith etal. 1997). The extent to which forest management standards integrate performance and process depends on the precise criteria to be measured and evaluated. The work of defining principles, criteria, and indicators for sustainable forest management at international, national, and regional levels has been undertaken in numerous regions and countries (Baharuddin and Simula 1994). The Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), in testing standards through site-specific trials has used a hierarchical system of principles, criteria, indicators, and verifiers, 16 depicted in the Figure 1.1. (Prabhu et. al. 1996). Depending on who uses the terminology, the emphasis oh certain terms in the lexicon of certification programs shifts, which is reviewed here. PRINCIPLES | | I — - f ' n I I I r ^ t I CRITERIA I INDICATORS I VERIFIERS Figure 1.1. Conceptual framework of forest management standards. The CIFOR working definition for principles is: "fundamental truth or law as the basis of reasoning or action," which provide justification for the criteria and indicators in the evaluation system (Prabhu et al. 1996) The FSC definition of principle is "an essential rule or element of forest management" (FSC 1996). For SCS, the 'program element' is equivalent in usage to principle, and the three are: timber resource sustainability, forest ecosystem maintenance, and socio-economic considerations (SCS 1995). SmartWood developed generic certification standards based on the principles of maintaining environmental functions, sustained yield production, and the well being of local communities (Rainforest Alliance 1996). The Montreal Process (1993) framework established six first order criteria rather than "principles", per se, that subsequently were adopted for defining sustainable forest 00000 17 management in Canada (Canadian Council of Forest Ministers 1995) and the US (USDA Forest Service 1996). Criteria, the second level to the hierarchy, are where most discussion of standards for forest management begins, as a criterion "adds meaning to a principle without itself being a yardstick of performance" (Prabhu et al. 1996). The role of criteria are to define the essential elements against which the sustainability of forests is assessed (FAO/ITTO 1995). The FSC defined criterion as "a means of judging whether or not a principle has been fulfilled" (FSC 1996) . ISO defines audit criteria as "policies, practices, procedures, or requirements against which the auditor compares collected evidence about the subject matter" (Tibor and Feldman 1997) . With the SCS program, criteria represent technical benchmarks against which to evaluate management performance and resource conditions (SCS 1995). SmartWood criteria are a set of minimum acceptable measures for assessing the sustainability and impacts of logging operations at the field or operational level (Rainforest Alliance 1993). CIFOR (1996) suggested that indicators are the primary tools of evaluation. Maini (1993) defined an indicator as "any variable that can be measured in relation to a specific criterion." The Montreal Process (1993) definition for indicator is "a quantitative or qualitative variable which can be measured or described and which when observed periodically demonstrates a trend." Two important facets of this definition in context of forest certification are that indicators may be qualitative variables and, not necessarily measured quantitatively, but described and/or observed (FAO/ITTO 1995). The ISO definition of indicator is "an expression that is used to provide information about the environmental performance or the condition of the environment" (Tibor and Feldman 1997). SCS has 18 published indicators for each criterion, with indicators being the basis for which field observations and other data are gathered in an assessment of forest management (SCS 1995). The SmartWood generic guidelines do not include published indicators. CIFOR defined verifiers as "extremely site-specific, data or information that enhances the specificity or ease of assessment of an indicator" (Prabhu etal. 1996). This conceptual framework using principles, criteria, and indicators (and verifiers) has been the backbone of certification standards. The nuts and bolts of the ecological, economic, and social values defined in any forest management standard will depend on how site specific or how broadly a standard is to be applied. For reasons previously stated, this research will only explore components of the SCS and SmartWood certification standards. The development of criteria and indicators has not been exclusively for certification standards4. Many efforts have been designed for assessment or reporting on sustainable forest management at the level of a forest management unit, a region, a nation, or group of nations for purposes of improving forest management independent of certification (Prabhu et. al. 1996). 1.5.4 How do certification systems define sustainable forest management? FSC-accredited certification programs do not offer an explicit single definition of "sustainable forest management". The FSC, instead, defines forest stewardship as "forest management that, in conformity with the FSC Principles and Criteria for Forest Stewardship, 4 For an overview of national and international criteria and indicator development processes, the reader should see (FAO/ITTO 1995; Crossley 1996; Evans 1996; International Institute for Sustainable Development 1996). 19 is environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable" (Wenban-Smith et al. 1997). However, the implicit goal, the end point, which FSC certification programs advocate is sustainable forest management. SCS and SmartWood official documents (Rainforest Alliance 1993; SCS 1995) use the terms sustainable forestry and sustainable forest management, but exercise caution in defining these lest certification be taken as a guarantee of sustainability. Instead, SCS and SmartWood certifications use the term "Well-Managed Forest". SGS Forestry, UK, does not define sustainable forestry either, preferring the term "quality forestry". This is defined "as environmentally sensitive, so that environmental impacts are assessed and minimized; socially beneficial, to recognize impacts on local people and society at large; and economically viable, such that forest operations are sufficiently profitable to ensure stability" (Upton and Bass 1995). The CSA adopted the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers definition of sustainable forest management, which is "management to maintain and enhance long-term health of ecosystems, while providing ecological, economic, social, and cultural opportunities for the benefit of present and future generations" (CSA 1996a). Why have FSC certification programs not been offering a more definite certification of sustainable forest management? The FSC approach to defining sustainable forest management has been through the development of forest management standards. The standards guide evaluation of what is certifiable, with the anticipation that certified operations will continually improve on their path towards sustainability. SmartWood has said that there are generally insufficient data to develop a consensus for biological sustainability (Heaton 1994). Debbie Hammel, SCS Forest Conservation Program Director said that "sustainability [is] a 20 goal that one continues to strive for, but that may not be achieved, particularly since at this time we do not know enough about the sustainability of forest ecosystems to make that claim" (Eisen etal. 1993). Perhaps the greatest difficulty in using a single definition for sustainable forest management is that multiple definitions exist, within and outside the forest certification literature. Many say the same thing and the differences are mostly semantic. Most are broad statements regarding an integration of ecological functions, economic viability, and social or political benefits, offered without clear measures. For example, the Helsinki Process (1993) defined sustainable management this way: "Sustainable management of forests means the stewardship and use of forests and forest lands in a way, and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regenerative capacity, vitality, and their potential to fulfill, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic, and social functions, at local, national, and global levels, and that does not cause harm to other ecosystems" (Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe 1993) The Montreal Process (1993) definition emphasized continuous flow of forest products, provided that impacts were not undesirable: "Sustainable forest management is the process of managing permanent forest land to achieve one or more clearly defined objectives of management with regard to the production of a continuous flow of desired forest products and services, without undue reduction of its inherent values and future productivity of forest and without undue undesirable effects on physical and social environment" (Maini 1993). Evolving discussion, and debate, on the science and practice of ecosystem management, particularly within the US, offer definitions for sustainable forest management that parallel the intent of US certification programs. For example, compare Salwasser's (1993) definition of sustainable forest management with the stated program goals of SCS and SmartWood: 21 "Sustaining desired ecosystem conditions requires that management goals and actions fall within the intersection of three spheres: that they be simultaneously ecologically viable, economically feasible, and socially desirable." First, SCS: "The goal of the Forest Conservation Program is to identify forest management practices which most successfully sustain timber resources while maintaining ecological viability of the forest and benefiting the larger community."(SCS n.d.) Second, SmartWood: "SmartWood certification activities have been based on three broad concepts, [that] all operations must maintain environmental functions..., incorporate sustained yield production for all forest products, and all activities should have a positive impact on the well being of local communities."(Rainforest Alliance 1993) Franklin (1993) defined sustainability more thoroughly than these goal statements. His definition captures the thrust of SCS and SmartWood program criteria and includes an important temporal scale absent in the above: "Sustainability is the maintenance of the potential for land and water ecosystems to produce the same quantity and quality of goods and services in perpetuity. Resource sustainability is conditioned by human values and objectives. Ecologically it includes retaining the ecosystem's capacity to provide functional services, such as nutrients and soil. It is the ability, either currently or at some future time to provide habitat for the full array of organisms found on the site and the continuing capacity to provide the same quality and quantity of products for human consumption." The thread running through these definitions, is to sustain forest functions and processes, at appropriate spatial and temporal scales, so that the quality and quantity of desired forest values is sustained for the benefit of people now and in the future. It is no wonder that evaluating forest management with the goal of sustainable forest management is the mission, but not an absolute promise, of certification. Nonetheless, certification programs are faced with the challenge of proving to the public that individual forests are managed sustainably (Mater 1997). Although it is not reasonable to expect certification programs to have all the 22 answers about sustainability when the scientific community, globally, is still undecided. One definite contribution of certification, already, has been to push the international forestry community to examine and define measures of sustainability (Bowyer 1997). 1.5.5 What forest certification programs have been developed? The configuration of active forest certification systems is rapidly changing. The FSC has accredited five certification bodies from the northern hemisphere: 1) Rainforest Alliance SmartWood Program, USA; 2) SKAL, Netherlands; 3) SGS Forestry Qualifor Program, UK; 4) Soil Association Responsible Forestry Programme, UK; and 5) Scientific Certification Systems' Forest Conservation Program, USA (FSC 1997). The Canadian Standards Association published a national standard for sustainable forest management systems in October 1996 designed to be compatible with ISO 14001 environmental management systems (CSA 1996). No forest company has been audited against the CSA standard, although there have been preliminary evaluations to assess sustainable forest management systems' readiness for nearly a dozen Canadian forest companies (T. Rotherham, pers. comm., Sep. 1997). The ISO Technical Committee 207 anticipated a bridging document for the implementation of ISO 14001 for forestry sometime after March 1998 Qeffree 1997). There have been FSC and non-FSC national certification initiatives in over 20 countries (Pierce and Ervin 1996). Certification schemes have been introduced for multiple nations or regions. For example, initiatives were started by the African Timber Organization 23 (ATO) for Africa, by the Amazon Cooperation Treaty (ACT) nations, known as the Tarapoto Proposal, and the Suva Code of Conduct worked on by southern pacific countries (Crossley 1996). Despite the proliferation of initiatives to develop criteria and indicators and certification systems worldwide, in the US certification of forest management has been done exclusively by FSC-accredited SCS and SmartWood. 1.5.6 How has forest products marketing been linked to certification? Certification emerged as a market issue for two primary reasons: 1) to permit the incorporation of full costs of responsible forest management through market-driven incentives to the producer and 2) to validate the authenticity of environmental claims being used on forest products (Baharuddin and Simula 1994; Cabarle et al. 1995; FSC 1995, 1996; Upton and Bass 1995). SCS and SmartWood certification programs have justified and explained certification for both of the above reasons. SCS indicated that it is "striving to create consumer awareness... that may lead to a willingness on the part of the consumer to pay more... and thus bear the true costs of sound management" (Eisen et al. 1993). SmartWood stated that "through certification, and use of the SmartWood label, the program provides a commercial incentive for forest mangers to adopt sustainable forestry practices (Rainforest Alliance 1996). SCS, on the other hand, was established to "clarify in a quantitative, scientific manner, and to help people inside and outside professional forest management to measure and compare differences 24 in management systems" (SCS 1995). A primary objective of the SmartWood program has been "to identify well-managed sources of wood products... to promote them as a better alternative through certification and public information" (Heaton 1994). Certification is based on developing markets that capture the growing interest and demand amongst consumers for 'environmentally sound' wood products (Cabarle 1994b; Lober and Eisen 1995). Viana (1994) concluded from existing market surveys of the time that "there is a consistent trend in consumer awareness and purchasing behavior that are likely to result in an increased market share for certified forest products. Some of the literature shares less optimism that 'green consumers' will support certification, and raises doubts about the ability of certification to be a market-driven process. Bourke (1995) estimated that there was little evidence that customers will pay more for products from certified forests. Surveys cited in Hansen (1997) demonstrated some customer willingness to pay more for products from certified forests. An Institute for Sustainable Forestry (1995) survey of 38 do-it-yourself building supply stores found that of 20 businesses surveyed that were not already selling a certified or salvaged wood product, only 13% expressed a willingness to pay for products from a certified forest. A survey of 400 wood retailers in the US by Optima (1996) found that only 8% of the retailers were aware of certification and 91% did not believe that their customers were aware of certification programs. It is still too early to determine how markets will respond to certified forest products. Mater (1995) stated that a niche market segment, not a mass market was all that has developed. However, there is optimism that buyers groups, supported by companies pledging to purchase certified wood and wood products, such as the UK's 1995 Plus Group or the Certified Forest Products Council in the US, could favorably 25 influence both supply of and demand for certified products. Similar buyers groups have been formed in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland (Tickell 1997). Most recently, a survey of consumer markets in five European countries (Germany, France, Italy, United Kingdom, and Austria) concluded that classical consumer demand has not been the driving force for certification and that the majority of potential consumers or producers of certified forest products are passive— in that very few are actively pushing for certification (Schwarzbauer et al. 1998). There are potentially non-market benefits to certification. Rotherham (1997) identified these as: improved public confidence, shareholder satisfaction, increased staff morale, greater manager credibility in local communities, and reduced risk from damaging environmental campaigns. If an independent certification audit leads to improvements for a company, this benefit may be as important as market advantage or price premium as motivating factors to seek certification. (Seymour et al. 1995). 1.5.7 What has been the criticism of forest certification? Some authors have been vociferous in their criticism of forest certification. (Kiekens 1995) criticized both ISO and FSC certification systems, stating that certification will not promote sustainable forest management. Thompson (1994) and Waffle (1996) said that certification would have marginal impact on world timber trade. Barbier (1995) wrote that certification could create trade barriers. 26 The FSC system has been criticized for having "prescriptive standards" (Berg and Olszewski 1995). The FSC approach has been portrayed relying on standards that are "tools" based, to certify specific actions, rather than to certify outcomes of a forest that meets sustainability criteria (Clayoquot Sound Scientific Panel 1995). Kimmins (1997) suggested that such certification systems may be "merely arm-waving", especially if ecological site classification and ecologically-based, ecosystem-level predictive tools are not required by certification programs. FSC certification is usually characterized as a performance-based assessment. Few articles deal with specific FSC-accredited certification standards, other than in well-publicized disputed certifications (e.g., Leroy Gabon in Africa, by SGS, or Flor y Fauna, in Costa Rica, by SmartWood). Rotherham (1997) criticized FSC chain of custody, as currently handled, for being overly-expensive in relation to negligible added-value, especially for producers of pulp and paper, and subject to error or dishonesty. Kiekens (1997) asserts that FSC-certification was not adapted, and could not be implemented, for European forests, but also that the FSC lacked the professionalism to be taken seriously and was being rejected by private forest owner associations. Fallwell (1996) reported on dissenting opinion in Europe that opposed a perceived FSC monopoly over certification. ISO 14001 environmental management systems standards have, been criticized by WWF Qeffree 1997) and the Certification Monitoring Network of Switzerland (Hauselmann 1997)for not being designed explicitly for forest management, but for the manufacture of any product. Some members of the Canadian Environmental Network opposed the lack of on-the-ground performance measures in primary drafts of the CSA SFM systems standards. Their concern was that final decision-making authority was with the forest manager or owner event 27 though public participation was part of the standard's continuous management loop (Swenarchuk 1995). Standards New Zealand (1996) reviewed advantages and disadvantages of ISO 14000 standards, and the shortcomings identified were that the ISO standards development process can be time-consuming, complex, with difficult entry for some stakeholders, and that there is not guidance for forest management or local application. Howard and Mohamed (1996) concluded that there were scientific reasons to combine management systems based and performance based approaches to certification. The ensuing presentation of research methods, survey results, discussion, and conclusions will build upon the available literature by means of empirical data collected to provide increased understanding of the actual methods used in the case of forest certification assessments in the United States. 28 C H A P T E R 2 2. M E T H O D O L O G Y 2.1 R E S E A R C H A P P R O A C H The chosen research method was to conduct a survey of forestry professionals who had done forest assessments for the SCS or SmartWood certification programs in the US. As mentioned, a thorough review of the literature revealed that few data existed comparing the forest assessment methodologies used by SCS or SmartWood in their US certification activities during the period prior to June 1997. There were several reasons why a survey, consisting of a written questionnaire and in-depth interviews, was selected as the instrument to collect data. First, as only 21 forests were certified in the US at the time of the study, it was known that a small group of forest assessors held most of the first-hand knowledge on implementing SCS and SmartWood protocols. Second, individual assessor perspectives of what actually happened was crucial to an understanding of the scientific, technical, and philosophical bases to forest assessment. Third, the chosen survey approach would permit each assessor to report independently and confidentially on their understanding of the certification program with which they worked. A range of viewpoints on the forest assessment process was sought to avoid depending solely on information provided from the headquarters of either certification 29 program. Finally, a survey was a feasible method for gathering comparative information from the standpoint of the time and budget committed to the project. 2.2 DEFINITION OF T H E P O P U L A T I O N The study population was defined as those individuals who had participated on an SCS or SmartWood forest assessment team between November 1992 and June 1997 for an assessment that resulted in certification (See Appendix IT). Defining the population was dependent on what SCS and SmartWood could disclose, and due to client confidentiality it was not possible to learn of those assessments that did not result in certification. There was a total population of 40 forest assessors for SCS and SmartWood during the period November 1992 to June 1997. Names of forest assessors were acquired directly from SCS and SmartWood. 2.3 D E V E L O P M E N T OF SURVEY INSTRUMENTS The survey of forest assessors consisted of two parts: a five-page written questionnaire (Part I) and a two-page set of 20 open-ended questions that was the basis for a 1 to 1 Vi hour in-person or telephone interview (Part 11). From November 1996 until March 1997, the survey instrument went through multiple drafts. Pre-testing was done with professors in the Faculty of Forestry at UBC to reduce misleading, biased, or unclear questions. A final version of the survey was mailed to participants after April 1, 1997. (See Appendix I.) 30 In Part I there were 23 primary questions, often with multiple sub-sections. The written questionnaire was designed to collect standardized and quantifiable data. The layout of the survey and question categories were as follows: (1) The preliminary section of the survey was for demographic information on assessor occupation, certification program affiliation, years of assessment and professional experience, educational background, and age. (2) The first six questions established assessor involvement in the assessments they had completed and their perspectives on program criteria and indicators used for assessment. (3) Questions 7 to 10 were about length of management plans, frequency of plan updates, assessing forest inventory, and sampling procedures used in the assessment. (4) Questions 11 to 14 were to characterize the assessor opinion of what the certification program expected with regards to annual allowable cut calculations, projections of future forest growth and yield, and types of forecast analysis. (5) Questions 15 and 16 were with regard to written silviculture prescriptions and how far into the past assessors reviewed written silviculture prescriptions. (6) Item 17 had assessors rate the importance of various silvicultural practices. (7) Questions 18 to 21 involved forest ecosystem maintenance and assessor attitudes on the use of an ecological classification system; the scale that assessors felt the forest assessment was focused on for soil and water variables; and the scale at which assessors measured indicators of biodiversity. (8) Question 22 asked for assessor opinion on how well the certification program addressed sustainability. (9) Question 23 asked assessors to rate their level of agreement with the statement that compliance with state forestry regulations would be sufficient for certification. The interview, Part II, consisted of 20 open-ended questions. There were 7 categories of questions related to the assessment. The categories were: (1) forest management planning; 31 (2) sustainable harvest levels; (3) silvicultural methods; (4) forest ecosystem maintenance; (5) conservation objectives; (6) public participation; (7) general questions related to the certification program. Participants were asked to complete Part I, the written questionnaire, prior to the interview. They were instructed that it would be picked up in-person at the time of the interview. If questions from Part I had been unanswered, explanation was provided to help the participant complete the questionnaire. The interview was a semi-structured process. The questions followed a standardized sequence, but in some cases the order of questions could change to fit the logical flow of conversation. In other situations, questions were omitted due to time limitations or if not suited to an assessors' background. The survey design and implementation met the standards established for social science research by the UBC Behavioral Research Ethics Board. The board approved this research on March 20, 1997. 2.4 C O N D U C T I N G T H E SURVEY The bulk of the survey work was through field-based research. Most assessors were interviewed in-person, because this method was likely to yield more information than phone interviews. Participants seemed more willing to make time to complete the questionnaire and do the interview in light of the commitment and interest I demonstrated by traveling so far to visit them. From April to July 1997,1 traveled approximately 19,500 kilometers (12,000 miles) 32 across the Unites States to interview study participants.5 Eighty percent of the survey interviews were completed in-person during this road trip. The remainder were concluded through phone interview from UBC between July and December 1997. Interviews were taped in all but one instance, in which detailed notes were taken. From July until December 1997, 325 pages were transcribed manually into text documents from the taped interviews. The response rate was very good to both parts of the survey. Of the total population of 40 forest assessors, identified when the study began, only two were not reachable. The response rate for completion of the questionnaire was 95%, or 36 out of 38 surveys mailed. These two assessors did not decline to participate, but they did not return the questionnaire after follow-up requests. The response rate for completion of in-depth, semi-structured interviews was 89.5%, or 34 out of 38 assessors. The response rate for completion of at least one of the two parts of the survey by an assessor was 97%, or 37 out of 38. 2.5 D A T A ANALYSIS The two parts of the survey were designed to extract different data. It was planned that these data would require different analyses. Part I used closed-ended questions or statements to constrain assessor opinion to a narrow set of choices that could be compared quantitatively. Part II used open-ended questions that would permit data-rich explanations, even though these would be limited to qualitative analysis. Both parts of the survey used descriptive statistics. The written questionnaire was treated as a census of the total population, unless otherwise noted, as the response rate was 95% of the reachable population. Some items and 5 In-person interviews with the forest assessors also permitted visits to the certified forest operations in their 33 questions within the questionnaire involved nominal data (e.g., number of assessments, program affiliation, number of days for the field or office assessment, yes or no logical responses, etc.), which permitted calculation of tallies and proportions. Some items and questions involved ordinal scale data (e.g., ranking preferred data sources from 1 to 3) that separated responses into categories that could be ranked, but did not permit precise difference between ranks (Bluman 1995). In the latter case, tallies, proportions, and median averages were the analyses. Much of the questionnaire used interval scale data (e.g., rating levels of agreement from 1 - strongly agree to 5 - strongly disagree) or ratio data (e.g., age, area in hectares) for which means and standard deviations were calculated. Each item in the questionnaire was coded for data entry. Each completed questionnaire was given a separate id number. Then data were entered into an Excel for Windows V.7.0 spreadsheet for each item from the questionnaire. Prior to analysis of the data, the data entry for every survey was double-checked for error. Errors were corrected and the data were exported to SPSS for Windows VJ.5. The descriptive statistics used to represent the data from the questionnaire were means and median averages, standard deviations, ranges, proportions, and tallies. The qualitative data from the in-depth interviews were analyzed using 'content analysis', following the approach described by Babbie (1990). With this method, textual information was read to identify similar themes, definitions, words, and phrases in order to classify the textual information. This process is referred to in the text as 'coding'. From the interviews, the coded information was assessor responses describing their methods for evaluating certification criteria in forest assessments. Given the original intent of the project, nearly every interview question had been framed as a criterion common to SCS and region. 34 SmartWood. Therefore, assessor responses were primarily methods of observation or measurement of variables used by assessors to indicate that the criterion had been met. In this thesis, the term indicator will be used to mean "a qualitative or quantitative variable which can be measured or described and which when observed periodically demonstrates a trend" (Canadian Council of Forest Ministers 1995). However, acknowledge that an indicator variable can imply a human input, or a human process in a management system, and also a state condition or a state response of a bio-physical system (Prabhu et. al. 1996). Qualitative textual data were coded into indicators and analyzed using the following steps: 1) Every assessor's response to the same question was read carefully. For example, all responses to the question "How do you validate the accuracy of the forest manager's inventory?" 2) While reading each response, words and phrases were highlighted that described the assessor's methods to evaluate the criterion. 3) Each assessor's response and the highlighted words and phrases were re-read to determine which constituted indicators. Particularly important was to differentiate whether the assessor had stated one indicator in different ways, or whether the assessor had described more than one indicator. 4) For every assessor, each distinct indicator was copied from the transcription and entered into a spread sheet for that question. 35 5) Once all indicators for a question were listed in the spreadsheet, they were read for a third time. At that point, all indicators that had been stated by multiple assessors were written as a single indicator that best captured the sense of what respondents had said similarly. For example, the indicator "How credible or sound are the methods to produce the inventory?" was stated by different assessors as: "How competent is the inventory methodology?", "How sound is the sampling methodology used?", "How credible is their inventory methodology?", and "Was the inventory produced by credible means?" The indicator was given a numerical code. 6) Each coded indicator was then tallied by certification program and as a total of both programs. The count as a proportion of the group of assessors was calculated as a percentage. 7) Frequency tables were made to display the distribution of assessors stating a given indicator. The frequency tables that are used throughout the results section require brief explanation regarding their interpretation. Tables 3-8 to 3-14 use percentages to represent the frequency with which an indicator was stated by an assessor to an open-ended interview question. These percentages do not add up to 100. That is because assessors could have stated that they used more than one indicator to evaluate a criterion. For example, that 57% of the assessors stated that they used an indicator does not mean that the remaining 43% did not use the indicator. It means that the remaining 43% did not state that they used the indicator— they may or may not have. For some questions, each assessor stated that they used many indicators. 36 Given that assessors were being asked open questions, to describe methods from forest assessments that may have happened months or even years prior to the interview, there existed the possibility for omission of indicators because the assessor did not remember everything they did. With such an interview format, it was not possible to differentiate between assessors who did not mention an indicator— even if they had used it— versus those who did not mention it because they had not used it. Therefore, percentages used in tables 3-8 to 3-14 demonstrate the relative importance an indicator held amidst the assessor population— and do not reflect the percentage of assessors who used an indicator versus those who did not. The information is presented in tables to demonstrate: 1) which stated indicators were most important; 2) how assessors from the two programs responded comparatively; and 3) to organize all the indicators that assessors stated they used. The n values for SCS and SmartWood fluctuate because not all assessors had the same responsibility in the assessment, therefore some questions were not applicable to some assessors. Due to the subjective nature with analyzing qualitative data, statistical inference should not be made from either the counts or percentages. There is no intention in this thesis to make such inference. The reader is advised to use caution when interpreting the percentages, as the exactness of the numbers may mislead one to assume greater precision than granted by the small population. 2.6 PROBLEMS WITH T H E SURVEY Interpretation of the survey is problematic due to the qualitative nature of many questions. Patton (1990) noted that there is no perfect qualitative research design, and there were several limitations to both the written questionnaire and the interview. 37 First, the efficiency of the survey could have been improved. As it turned out, a number of questions were asked that did not fulfill the research objectives. With both the written questionnaire and the interview there were questions that initially seemed important and feasible to collect data for, but turned out to be less useful in the final thesis. Therefore, of the 23 questions in Part I, only data pertaining to 13 were analyzed in this report. Out of 20 questions in the interview, only data pertaining to 10 were analyzed. Second, several of the questions used terminology that was ambiguous or has various interpretations amongst professionals. Particularly with the written questionnaire, where the wording of questions was not usually explained to the assessor, unclear phrases or terms could have produced survey error. Third, some questions in the written survey should have been broken down into multiple questions. For example, Question 7 asked "Which time horizon best reflects how long the program expects the forest management plan to be?" This should have been two questions: 1) How long should the active planning document be active? and 2) How far into the future should forest conditions be forecast within the forest management plan? Fourth, not every interview could be conducted in the same manner. The interview was slightly different from one day to the next, depending on the interviewer, interviewee, setting, and time allotted for the interview. There was some amount of error introduced by the bias and influence of the interviewer (Allan and Skinner 1991). 38 To minimize the above problems, efforts were made to reduce error and improve assessor understanding of the intended meaning of survey questions. Before starting the interview, assessors were asked if they wanted clarification for any questions or items from the written questionnaire. During the interview, respondents were provided clarification if they were unsure of the meaning of an interview question. Furthermore, the core set of interview questions were asked in a systematic and generally consistent manner, with interviews always done one-on-one. Considering the limitations of this survey, the high level of response from the assessor population generated useful data not previously available. 39 C H A P T E R 3 3. C O M P A R I S O N OF ASSESSMENT METHODS A N D INDICATORS USED BY FOREST ASSESSORS TO E V A L U A T E SELECTED CERTIFICATION CRITERIA 3.1 I N T R O D U C T I O N This chapter offers a comparative examination of the forest assessment methodologies used in the certification of forest management by the Rainforest Alliance's SmartWood Program and Scientific Certification Systems' Forest Conservation Program. The purpose of this chapter is to first, describe common methods used by both programs in the assessment and verification of forest management planning and practices for selected criteria; and second, summarize and rank the most common indicators used to evaluated selected criteria. The criteria presented in this chapter pertain to forest management planning, forest inventory, sustainable harvest levels, and forest ecosystem maintenance. None of the socioeconomic criteria of these two certification programs are discussed, even though they are admittedly important criteria, and are integral components to the forest assessment process for SCS and SmartWood. The primary data analyzed came from a survey of 38 forest assessors who did certification assessments for these programs in the United States from November 1992 until June 1997. Other sources of data were: program manuals, program press releases, public summary documents, certification assessment reports, and personal conversation with forest managers and owners of the certified forests. This is a description of current assessor 40 perspectives on the methods of forest assessments under the two certification programs in the US and does not attempt to predict how future assessments will occur. It is likely that in the coming years the number of certification assessments, professional assessors, and certified forests in this US will increase far beyond the present cross-section. 3.2 C O M P A R I S O N OF SCS A N D SMARTWOOD CERTIFICATION PROCEDURES Prior to comparing how the SCS and SmartWood programs conducted forest assessments an overview of the steps in their certification process will give context to the ensuing discussion. The forest assessment is only one procedure in the overall SCS, and SmartWood, certification processes and will be covered in section 3.3. CONTACT SCOPING DOCUMENT REVIEW CONTRACT FIELD ASSESSMENT PEER REVIEW REPORT JL ANNUAL AUDITS k » | CERTIFICATE T ECOLABEL REPORT PUBLIC NOTICE Figure 3.1. SCS & SmartWood certification process Adapted from Upton and Bass (1995) 41 3.2.1 Step 1 - Initial Contact For both programs, the initial meeting between certification personnel and a potential client is an introduction to the certification program and standards for the client. SmartWood requests a formal application. Both programs prefer in-person meetings with representatives from the client operation, but this may be done through phone, fax, and mailings, especially for smaller landowners. 3.2.2 Step 2 - Preliminary Evaluation For SCS and SmartWood, the next step is a preliminary evaluation, also referred to as a "scoping" visit. This is an introduction to the client's forest lands and a preparatory review of management documents. The preliminary evaluation enables the certifier to determine the assessment needs in terms of budget, time, specialized expertise for the assessment team, and the likelihood of the client succeeding. With both programs, a brief scoping report is written for the client that is an appraisal to facilitate the decision by the manager as to undertaking a full evaluation. The report would estimate costs to the forest owner and indicate the chance of passing— and recommend corrective actions if deficiencies were discovered. 3.2.3 Step 3 - Contract SCS and SmartWood would negotiate a contract for the assessment of a fixed area of forest. The costs that the client pays the certification program for the forest assessment would be based on assessor daily rates, travel expenses, production of a written certification report, 42 the involvement of specialists for peer review, and administration of the preparatory work-document review, assembling the assessment team, and coordinating logistical arrangements for the assessment team and client. 3.2.4 Step 4 - Assessment Team An assessment team is assembled based on the requirements for the audit identified through the preliminary evaluation. SCS and SmartWood have used teams comprised of their own personnel and independent private consultants. Final team composition has been decided by the certification program, however, the client can give input on the selection process. (More on assessment team in section 3.3.3) 3.2.5 Step 5 - Forest Assessment The forest assessment is an on-site evaluation of forest conditions, management systems, documents, and includes interviews with managers and stakeholders. (More detail on forest assessment procedures in section 3.3.) SCS and SmartWood prepared for the on-site assessment through ah extensive collection of management planning documents, and other information, for the specific forest. A meeting of the assessment team typically took place prior to the field assessment (often on the first day) to handle logistical details, clarify responsibilities of each team member, decide on internal personnel and external stakeholders to interview, review program evaluation criteria and scoring process. The field based forest assessment involved a one day to two week field evaluation, depending on the size and 43 complexity of the evaluation. The assessment team then assigned numerical scores to each program criterion, although scoring was done differently by SCS and SmartWood. 3.2.6 Step 6 - Assessment Report SCS and SmartWood assessment team members take collective responsibility for writing a draft certification report. For SmartWood, the team leader is the lead writer. The report includes the findings from the evaluation and the scores determined for program criteria. If there are conditions to the certification, they must be stated in the report. Whereby, conditions require mandatory actions to be taken in a set time and monitored for compliance. The report may suggest recommendations, which are non-mandatory suggestions for improvement. The report is sent to the client to solicit comments and feedback, particularly with regard to the accuracy of the findings of the evaluation team. 3.2.7 Step 7 - External Peer Review Both programs submit the draft and final certification report to an external and confidential peer review. Generally three peer reviewers are used. SmartWood includes peer review comments in the final report, SCS may do this where deemed useful. Although peer reviewers have access to the report, they did not have access to the extensive management planning documentation, or personal interviews, or field reconnaissance, and only rarely would peer reviewers actually visit the forest under review. 44 3.2.8 Step 8 - Certification Decision The final certification decision is based on the recommendations of the assessment report, and takes into consideration the peer reviewers' comments. The decision by the certification program comes with the final written report, which is a proprietary document of the client. For SCS, the decision rests with "the SCS Forest Conservation Program Director" while SmartWood uses a "Certification Committee". With both programs the forest owner and certifier negotiate a contract for the conditions for maintaining certification compliance, and use of the certificate, for a set duration, typically of five-years. 3.2.9 Step 9 - Public Notification The FSC requires that the public be notified by the certification organization of the formal certification decision. SCS prepares an "Executive Summary" document and SmartWood produces two public statements: a press release and a "Public Summary Document". Provided that the producer has been certified with a chain of custody protocol in place, then the final stage of the certification process is use of the FSC logo through product labeling and point of purchase claims made to the public (Rainforest Alliance 1996; SCS 1995). Due to the complexity of chain of custody, this subject was not included in this study. For more information see: (SCS 1995; Wenban-Smith 1997). 45 3.2.10 Step 10 - Annual Audits Monitoring compliance of the certified forest operation with the conditions of the certification occurs through regular annual audits. Both programs conduct annual inspections of certified forests, which are generally 1 or 2 day visits involving one forest assessor. 3.3 FOREST ASSESSMENT This section will first define forest assessment as used in the thesis. Second, it will present data on assessment team composition and forest assessor demographics regarding age, professional, and educational experience. Third, a distribution of the number of work days spent on field and office components of the assessment by area is presented. Fourth, will be a description of program survey procedures and assessors' characterization of sampling methods. Fifth, it will describe the process to interview managers and stakeholders. Finally, the scoring systems used by each program will be discussed. 3.3.1 Defining Forest Assessment The term forest assessment is used in this thesis according to the FSC definition for evaluation: an "inspection by a certification body to determine whether a forest management enterprise conforms with FSC recognised standards of forest stewardship" (Wenban-Smith et al. 1997) In the FSC Accreditation Manual the term assessment is consistent with ISO usage, meaning "a third party examination and evaluation of management systems to determine the degree of conformity against a specified standard" (Upton and Bass 1995). Usage of the terms 'forest audit', 'forest evaluation', or 'field-based assessment' in this thesis occurs to preserve 46 original syntax from a citation or quote, but are intended to mean the same as forest assessment.6 SCS and SmartWood forest assessments principally have been an evaluation of management systems— through intensive document review and interviews with managers and stakeholders, and of management performance— through field reconnaissance of sample forest conditions. The forest assessment is a critical factor for any certification system and no forest can be certified without first being assessed. The FSC requires that forest assessment "evaluation procedures include on-site field inspections of the forest operation sufficient in breadth and intensity as to provide factual and observational basis for reaching a certification decision" (FSC 1996). 3.3.2 Forest Assessors & Assessment Teams Due to the considerable responsibility of assessment team members in carrying out the forest assessment and making the final certification decision, composition of assessment teams has been of critical importance. SCS and SmartWood program manuals do not state specific, stringent qualification requirements for assessors. However, both programs state their expectation that assessors possess strong regional expertise, achieved through years of education, research, and/or professional experience. SCS and SmartWood forest assessment teams have been interdisciplinary to reflect the balance between ecological, economic, and social criteria of the forest management standards. Assessment teams usually had members with expertise in forestry, forest ecology, wildlife 6 The instructions in the written questionnaire asked assessors to think of the terms "forest assessment", "forest 47 biology, silviculture, logging operations, and forest economics. Less frequently, sociologists, hydrologists, and geologists have been on assessment teams. Demographics for the professional assessor population of SCS and SmartWood are given in Table 3-1. Table 3-1. SCS and SmartWood assessor demographic profile. Years of Certification Age (Mean) Professional Assessments Has Ph.D. Experience (Mean) Completed (Mean) (Count & %) SCS: 48.8 23.5 3.1 7 (58%) SmartWood: 45.6 21.0 3.4 7 (29%) Total: 46.7 2L8 3J 14 (39%) SCS n= 12; SmartWood n = 24 In the study population of 40 assessors, 12 individuals had worked for SCS and 28 individuals had worked for SmartWood to complete each programs' forest assessments. Both programs involved assessors with similar qualifications. The assessor mean age, mean years of professional experience (in natural resources education, research, or management), and mean number of assessments completed were common to both certification programs. The range in professional experience for SCS assessors was from 15 years to 40 years and for SmartWood from 6 years to 43 years. Considering educational backgrounds, SCS used proportionally more doctorates on assessment teams than SmartWood. However, combining assessors with a M.S., M.F., or M.A. degree to those with a Ph.D. meant that approximately 80% of SmartWood assessors and 83% of SCS assessors had advanced graduate degrees. With regard to gender, the assessors were predominantly male. For the total assessor population, 87.5% were audit", and "forest evaluation" as having the same meaning. 48 male. During the period studied, SCS hired zero females to conduct forest assessments, while five females worked on SmartWood forest assessments. 3.3.3 Assessment Work Days The number of days an assessment team spent in the field and office components (document review, interviews, report writing) of the forest assessment was dependent on the area being assessed. SCS and SmartWood, in their US forest assessments did not, on average, assess the same type and scale of operation. During the period under study, SCS certified 6 forest operations and SmartWood certified 16 forest operations7. The area of the forests involved is summarized in Figure 3.2. (0 t . o O o SI E 3 z 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 I S C S I SmartWood 0-5,000 5,001-50,000 50,001-100,000 Area in Hectares 100,001-150,000 150,001-500,000 500,001 + Figure 3.2. Distribution of SCS and SmartWood certified forests by area. During the period from November 1992 to June 1997, SCS certified industrial scale forestry on 5 private and 1 public forests, which accounted for the two largest certified forests in the US. SmartWood also certified industrial scale forestry on 2 private and 3 public forests. The majority of SmartWood certifications were of forests with an area less than 5,000 7 Menominee Tribal Enterprises was certified by both SCS and SmartWood in 1994. 49 hectares. However, in the questionnaire, 20 of the 26 SmartWood assessors surveyed indicated that they had done forest assessments on forests greater than 5,000 hectares, although these had not yet led to certification.8 The minimum amount of field days for a forest assessment was 1 (SmartWood) and the maximum was 15 (SCS). As mentioned, SCS assessors typically worked on larger ownerships, and, for those assessments, averaged more field time per assessment than SmartWood assessors, (Table 3-2). On average, SCS and SmartWood assessors spent a similar amount of time on the office component of the assessment on areas greater than 5,000 hectares. The field time spent on assessment of ownerships less than 5,000 hectares was similar for both programs, although SCS had only done one of these. Table 3-2. Days for field and office components of forest assessment. Field Days (mean) Office Days (mean) Mid to Mid to All Forest Size: Small3 Large* All Sizesc Small Large Sizes SCS: 2 10 9 1 8 7 SmartWood 2 4 3 3 9 5 a = properties < 5,000 hectares; b = properties > 5,000 hectares;c = all sized properties In summary, SCS and SmartWood assessments of large forests (5,000 to 500,000 hectares) averaged 5-6 field days and 6-7 office days, while SCS and SmartWood assessments of forests less than 5,000 hectares averaged two field days and two office days. In terms of 8 This is mentioned so that the reader does not immediately disregard all future comparisons between SCS and SmartWood as the simple dichotomy between industrial and small-scale forest assessments. 50 hectares per person per day, the field-based assessment on mid to large sized forests averaged 18,000 hectares/person/day for SCS assessors and 23,000 hectares/person/day for SmartWood assessors. Therefore, sampling was an obvious necessity. However, the intensity of sampling, the level of data collection, field observations, and any measurements that could be made, were limited by the relatively short time frame allotted in which to assess forests that were often extensive in area. 3.3.4 Sampling Methods Clearly, the scale of forests required some form of sampling for SCS and SmartWood forest assessments. Often the forest ownerships were discontinuous large areas of land, and budgets limited the area that could be visited. Both programs described their sampling procedures as some form of stratified sample (SCS 1995; Rainforest Alliance 1996). In the SCS FCP Program Description and Operations Manual, Appendix 4, survey procedures are explained in detail. The SCS method is presented as an informal sample-based approach. Unlike a true stratified random sample, the SCS approach would not permit statistical inference on the ownership as a whole (SCS 1995). The SmartWood Program Generic Guidelines for Assessing Natural Forest Management do not explain the sampling method in any detail. Nor do the guidelines used by SmartWood Network members. However, similar to SCS, SmartWood assessors typically developed a stratification matrix (National Wildlife Federation/Northeast Natural Resource Center and Rainforest Alliance 1997), (Sigurd Olsen Environmental Institute and Rainforest Alliance 1997). A SmartWood assessment team would usually select a representative cross-section of sites within different management blocks or 51 compartments and would visit as many of those sites as time permitted (Rainforest Alliance 1996). For both programs, stratifying the property and indicating sites to visit on ownership maps usually was finalized by the assessment team during a planning meeting prior to the assessment. Often, this planning meeting occurred on the first day of the assessment—possibly the first time the complete team would be together. In some cases, the team leader and core members of the team were responsible for this initial work, and other assessors joined the team for a latter portion of the assessment. Due to the importance of sampling in the forest assessment, it was of interest to find out how the forest assessors would define the sampling procedure. In the written questionnaire, assessors were asked the question: "What sampling methods did your team use to ground check the management of these forest resources?" For each resource, (timber, soils, woody debris, wildlife habitat, road network, and riparian habitat), assessors chose from the following: 1) simple random sampling; 2) stratified random sampling; 3) systematic sampling; 4) field reconnaissance; 5) not ground checked; or 6) other. The results from the survey demonstrated that 88.7% (the sum of columns five to seven) of the SCS and SmartWood assessors characterized the average sampling method as some form of field reconnaissance, (Table 3-3). 52 Table 3-3. Sampling methods used by SCS and SmartWood forest assessors Simple Stratified Random Random Sampling Sampling Systematic Sampling Field Reconnaissance Field Reconnaissance + Stratified Random Sampling Field Reconnaissance + Any Other Sampling Type Not Ground Checked Timber 2.9 % 8.8 % 0 47.1 % 23.5 % 17.7 % 0 Soil 2.9 % 8.8 % 0 58.8 % 17.6 % 0.1% 11.8% CWD 0.0 % 5.9 % 0 64.7 % 14.7 % 14.7 % 0 Wildlife 3.0 % 6.1% 0 66.7 % 18.2 % 6.0 % 0 Roads 2.9 % 5.9 % 0 67.6 % 17.6 % 6.0 % 0 Riparian i 0.0 % 5.9 % 2.9 % 61.8 % 14.7 % 14.7 % 0 Average 2.0 % 6.9 % 0.5 % 61.1 % 17.7% 9.9 % 1.9 % SCS and SmartWood n=36 On average, only 6.9% of the respondents chose stratified random sampling. When the average frequencies of those who chose either stratified random sampling or stratified random sampling and field reconnaissance were aggregated, only 24.6% of the assessor population characterized the sampling method as some form of stratified random sampling. Assessor survey responses indicated that "sampling" in forest assessments has not been statistically defensible stratified random sampling that would make inference on the total forest resource. The common "sampling" method for SCS and SmartWood assessment teams was actually a stratification of the property followed by a field reconnaissance with observations. 53 3.3.5 Interviews with Managers and Stakeholders In-depth interviews of a client forest operation's management and staff and with representatives of affected or interested stakeholder groups has been an integral part of SCS and SmartWood assessments. Forest assessors described very similar procedures used to select and interview individuals, both those internal or external to the client forest operation. The objective of these interviews in the assessment has been twofold. First, internally, to query-personnel responsible for management of the forest to solicit specific information that would corroborate written management plans and defend or explain management actions on site. Second, externally, to generate input from a wide range of representative stakeholders and individuals knowledgeable with forest management issues pertinent to the client operation. The main difference between SCS and SmartWood interview procedures in forest assessments has been their external interview process in the assessment of public lands. For public lands, SmartWood private interviews have been supplemented with public meetings convened to provide stakeholder groups and individuals with a forum to discuss concerns regarding the client operation's forest management. SmartWood has used these meetings to inform, and answer questions of, those in attendance regarding the SmartWood program. SCS has not held public fora to solicit stakeholder input. Rather, SCS has relied solely on private confidential interviews for their stakeholder consultation. In common to SCS and SmartWood is their general interview process. Internal and external to the client operation, individuals interviewed by the assessment team have included: forest operation staff, local conservation and environmental organizations, community leaders, other resource managers at private, state, and federal levels, recreational clubs and 54 associations, abutting landowners and neighbors, etc.. Table 3-4 is a list of those individuals and groups contacted by SCS and SmartWood during the in-depth interview portion of the forest assessment. The extent of the external interview process for SCS and SmartWood was determined by the size of the forest ownership. In general, small ownerships (< 5,000 hectares) involved approximately ten interviews, while large ownerships (> 5,000 hectares) averaged 20 to 30 interviews. Interviews were primarily done by phone and averaged from 20 to 30 minutes. The interviews were usually divided amongst the team members by area of expertise. The selection of individuals to interview primarily emphasized contact with organizations, to identify leaders or representatives and then speak with these people, rather than to seek out the opinion of unaffiliated individuals. The interviews with outside stakeholders was a rather 4 informal method to determine whether there were concerns with the management from within a cross section of business, community, and environmental perspectives. This was not a process that used formal social survey techniques. 55 Table 3-4. Types of individuals and organizations interviewed by SCS or SmartWood assessors during forest assessments in the US. Internal to Client Forest Operation External to Client Forest Operation Senior Management Conservation/Environmental Organizations Forest Owner Local Audobon Society Foresters Local Wildlife Society Forest Technicians Nature Conservancy Marking Crew National Wildlife Federation Loggers Natural Heritage Program Contractors Local Sierra Club Staff Biologist Local Earth First! Administrative Staff Local Concern Groups GIS Technicians Local Restoration Groups Mil l Manager Government Officials Mil l Operators Mayor Sales Representatives Local legislators Marketing Personnel Local Planning Commission Town Assessor Chamber of Commerce Local Newspaper - Local Residents and Neighbors Land Owner Associations Local Historical Society Other Resource Managers - private, state, federal USDA Forest Service Foresters County Extension Forester US Fish and Wildlife Biologists Research Stations or Institutes Game Management Officer University Scientists Native American Tribes Fishing Clubs Trout Unlimited Skiing groups Hunting Groups Farmers/Ranchers 3.3.6 Scoring Criteria 56 The SCS and SmartWood certification programs used substantially different approaches to score program criteria. This section will describe the scoring systems of each certification program. The FSC does not require scoring, however, the certification program must clearly explain and define any scoring systems used in the certification decision (Wenban-Smith et al. 1997). In the case of SCS and SmartWood, their scoring systems have been important to explicitly quantify, criterion by criterion, the decisions of the assessment team. Numeric scores also help lead the manager, peer reviewer, or anyone who reads the certification report through the rationale of the assessment team. SmartWood used a system based on numerical scores given to all applicable criteria within nine subject areas of the program. These general subject areas have been: (1) forest security; (2) management planning; (3) sustained yield management; (4) forest operations; (5) environmental impacts; (6) optimizing resource potential; (7) social; (8) economic viability; (9) tracing and tracking. Table 3-5. SmartWood scoring system. Score General Performance Description Compliance Expected 0 N / A - Not an applicable criteria. Criteria not used for scoring. 1 Strongly unfavorable-Extremely weak performance. Pre-conditions required. 2 More unfavorable than favorable-Weak performance. Conditions required, pre-conditions optional. 3 Neutral-Satisfactory performance. Conditions optional 4 More favorable than unfavorable-Favorable performance. Conditions and recommendations (non-mandated actions) optional. 5 Strongly favorable-Clearly outstanding performance. Recommendations only. Adapted from Rainforest Alliance (1993) and National Wildlife Federation/Northeast Natural Resource Center and Rainforest Alliance (1997) 57 For each criterion, assessors assigned values from 1 (worst) to 5 (best) which fit the qualitative description for the score, as shown in Table 3-5. Then a cumulative score for each subject area was calculated as the average of all criteria within the subject area. SmartWood did not weight scores by criterion or subject area. However, cumulative subject scores would be effected by the variation in the number of criteria per subject area. An overall certification score or performance mark— to establish certifiable versus non-certifiable— was not calculated. Rather, substandard performance for any criteria would require preconditions— "actions the candidate operation must achieve before certification can be granted" (Rainforest Alliance 1993). All SmartWood Network members have used the above approach to scoring. SCS has used a scoring system that numerically-weighted the importance of criteria within the context of three main program elements: (1) timber resource sustainability; (2) forest ecosystem maintenance; and (3) financial and socioeconomic considerations. The weighting of criteria is intended to handle the variation from region to region and to incorporate local, site-specific factors into the evaluation (SCS 1995). For example, in the case of Seven Islands Land Management Company, the timber resource sustainability element was partitioned into criteria weighted as in Table 3-6. Table 3-6. Example of SCS weighted criteria. Criterion Normalized Weight Harvest regulation .35 Stocking and Growth Control .23 Spruce Budworm Mgt. Strategy .15 Forest Access .07 Harvest Efficiency/Product Utilization .10 Management Plan and Information Base .10 Source: SCS (1997a) 58 SCS assessors would decide on case-specific weights prior to or during assessments using a pair-wise approach, described as "a systematic binary comparison of each criteria against the other criteria" (SCS 1995, Seymour et al. 1995). The SCS method as explained in a certification report: "To arrive at weights, a pair-wise matrix is created with each criterion represented in both a row and column heading. Then each criterion is ranked against all others within the same program element using the following relative scores: 4=the row criterion is much more important than the column criterion; 3=the row criterion is somewhat more important than the column criterion; 2=the row criterion is slightly more important than the column criterion; 1 = the row criterion is equal in importance to the column criterion. After all pair-wise comparisons are ranked and the matrix is complete, the columns are summed. A new matrix is then formed by dividing each cell in the original matrix by these column totals, which yields a series of decimal fractions. The final step is to compute the sum of these new values across each row, and divide by the number of cells— in effect taking the average of the cells in each row— the weight for each criterion." (SCS 1997b) The SCS assessor would score each criterion from 0 to 100 points. These scores would be multiplied by the calculated weighted average. For each program element then, a normalized average score would be computed. To confer certification, the score for each program element would need to be 80 or above. This has been the method used for all SCS forest assessments. 3.3.7 Forest Assessment Summary Clearly certification assessments need to accommodate the differences inherent in forest operations of variable sizes, ownership, forest conditions and management objectives. There was much in common with the basic forest assessment procedures of SCS and 59 SmartWood. It was strongly indicated that the "sampling" in forest assessments has not been, nor should it be confused with, traditionally-accepted and statistically-defensible methods to make inference on the total forest resource. For both programs, the assessors must exercise judgment. The biggest difference between SCS and SmartWood were their approaches to scoring criteria. The next sections in this chapter describe (largely through the perspectives of forest assessors) those indicators that have been most frequently used to reinforce the reasoning, and professional judgment of assessors, to evaluate program criteria. The intention will be to provide first-hand description of the indicators that assessors actually used to facilitate their decision-making when conducting the forest assessment. 3.4 FOREST M A N A G E M E N T P L A N N I N G The SCS and SmartWood certification programs require a written forest management plan for certification. The management plan, and the breadth of information contained within it and supporting documents, are of paramount importance to forest auditing. Assessment of a written forest management plan and its explicit system of strategic and tactical planning forms the base for evaluation of all criteria and indicators of a certification standard. Therefore, the forest management plan is an integral, critical component to the entire FSC certification process. This section will present an overview of SCS and SmartWood criteria and indicators regarding forest management planning. Data comes from in-depth interviews and documents of the FSC, SCS, and SmartWood. 60 3.4.1 Forest Management Planning Criteria Articulated in FSC, SCS, and SmartWood Protocols Long-term forest management is a central goal of the Forest Stewardship Council. Certification systems can promote this goal through the mandatory requirement of a forest management plan, as stated in the FSCPrinciples and Criteria for Forest Management (FSC P&C). FSC Principle 7, "Forest Management Plan", reads: "a management plan— appropriate to the scale and intensity of the operations—shall be written, implemented, and kept up to date. The long term objectives of management, and the means of achieving them, shall be clearly stated." (FSC 1996). It has been incumbent upon FSC-accredited certification bodies to uphold this principle in forest assessments. The SCS Forest Conservation Program's Program Description and Operations Manual states that "Management should be guided by an effective and operational written plan that provides the long-term context and continuity for the actions taken at any point in time." The standard is Criterion A.6 - "Management Plan and Information Base", within Program Element A - "Timber Resource Sustainability" (SCS 1995). The Smart Wood Program Generic Guidelines for Assessing Natural Forest Management state that "certification will apply only to forestry operations or sources that have plans for long-term forest management." Forest managers must have "a multi-year forest management plan written and available" according to criterion 3.1, "Management Planning" (Rainforest Alliance 1993). 61 Regional standards developed by SmartWood Network member organizations, and used in 75% of the SmartWood assessments, specified additional management planning criteria: • "Resource data and descriptions in the management plan are accurate and complete. The plan describes expected management actions and resulting future forest conditions projecting 50 and 100 years out." (Institute for Sustainable Forestry 1994). • "Goals of the management plan are being met" (Institute for Sustainable Forestry 1994). • "A multi-year forest management plan is written and available, describing management objectives and activities over the next 25 year period" (Sigurd Olsen Environmental Institute 1994). • "The management plan considers the forest in a landscape context. The management plan classifies the forest using an ecological/hierarchical approach" (Sigurd Olsen Environmental Institute 1994). • "Forest management objectives and prescriptions are documented and based on site history, owner's objectives, forest condition, ecology, management needs, and other relevant factors" (National Wildlife Federation 1997). • "Forest management plan is implemented in the field as written (National Wildlife Federation 1997). 62 3.4.2 Components of Forest Management Plan - FSC, SCS, and SmartWood The components of a forest management plan are listed in Table 3-7. SCS and SmartWood assessment teams were responsible for evaluating the thoroughness of the forest management plan in all subject areas which were expected to be components of the plan. The SCS and SmartWood certification programs generally established whether a management plan existed— one that met the certification standards— during the document review. If an adequate plan was not available, this precluded certification, and/or postponed a full forest assessment until the client operation prepared a formal plan. If an adequate plan was available, then the forest assessment would determine the effectiveness of the plan through on-site review of the forest. 63 Table 3-7. Components of forest management plan - FSC, SCS, and SmartWood. FSC SCS Smart Wood 1 Management objectives; 1 Objectives of management, administrative structure of ownership, general goals per resource subject area; l Management objectives; 2 Description of forest resources to be managed, environmental limitations, land use and ownership status, socioeconomic conditions, and a profile or adjacent lands; 2 Forest resource information for the timber resource and other resources; 2 Analysis of inventories of target species and factors affecting their population; 3 Description of silvicultural and/or other management system, based on the ecology of the forest in question and information gathered through resource inventories; 3 Descriptions and justifications for silvicultural systems employed, spatial and landscape patterns of treatments; 3 A plan of proposed silvicultural interventions; 4 Rationale for rate of annual harvest and species selection; 4 Harvest plan. Description of allowable harvest calculation process, full description of any allowable cut effects, harvest priorities by geographic area, proposed cutting schedule for next 5-10 years, justification for selected harvest and intensity of harvest per entry or rotation; 4 Maps which describe harvest areas, conservation and/or buffer zones, haul roads, log landings, and primary skid roads; 5 Provisions for monitoring of forest growth; 5 Road network and maintenance plan. 5 A plan for protection against fire, pests, encroachment; 6 Environmental safeguards based on environmental assessments; 6 Elaboration of management objectives and concerns related to wildlife. 6 Description of measures for environmental protection, including soil conservation and watershed protection, conserving biological diversity; and use of toxic materials; 7 Plans for the identification and protection of rare, threatened, or endangered species; 7 Contract labor policies. Safety policies, silvicultural indoctrination programs; 7 A plan for forest product utilization and marketing; 8 Maps describing the forest resource base including protected areas, planned management activities, and land ownership; 8 Stand health risk reduction measures. Recommended reforestation priorities; 8 Description of the consultation process with affected communities and its results; 9 Description and justification of harvesting techniques and equipment to be used. 9 Appendices with key plan support documents, such as: maps, inventory methods, plot data, sample stand tables, growth predictions, personnel. 9 A plan for periodic monitoring and reporting, which shows how management prescriptions will be changed based on new information. Source: FSC (1996), SCS (1995), and Rainforest Alliance (1993). 64 3.4.3 Assessment of Forest Management Plan as Surveyed in Interview of SCS and SmartWood Forest Assessors To examine which indicators were most often used for evaluating plan implementation, assessors were asked the question: "How do you assess that a forest management plan is being followed in the forest?" Nine SCS and 18 SmartWood assessors were asked this question. A l l assessors understood the question, and their responses were coded into five indicators, as displayed in Table 3-89. They discussed assessment of plan implementation and how they determined that a plan was comprehensive with systems in place for implementation. Two indicators were mentioned with more than 50% frequency, and are presented independently, while the remaining three, mentioned with less than 20% frequency, are described jointly. 9 Percentages are used in tables 3-8 to 3-14 which don't add to up to 100%. That x% of the respondents stated they used an indicator does not imply that 100-x% did not use that indicator. Rather, the only conclusion that should be made is that x% remembered they used the stated indicator. 65 Table 3-8. Indicators SCS and SmartWood Assessors used to evaluate the implementation of the forest management plan in US forest assessments. Assessor Responses by Certification Program Frequency Percentage Stated Indicator: SW n=19 SCS n=9 SW + s c , s n=28 s w s c s s w + s c s 1 Are forest managers doing what they said they would do? 17 9 26 89% 100 % 93 % 2 Is there commitment to and understanding of the management plan? 10 5 15 53 % 56% 54 % 3 Does the forest operation have a history of following a sustainable strategy based on learning from experience? 2 1 3 11 % 11 % 11 % 4 Does the plan meet the certification guidelines? 2 0 2 11 % - 7% 5 What is the forest managers' process for preparing the plan? 1 0 1 5% - 4% 3.4.4 Indicator 1: Are Forest Managers Doing What They Said They Would Do? The assessors expressed near unanimous agreement that to corroborate that the forest management plan was being followed was a straightforward check of forest conditions against what was said in the plan. Ninety-three percent of the total assessor population, 100% SCS and 89% SmartWood, stated this, which was consistent with methods described in the written protocols of both programs. 66 Verification that forest conditions and management performance conformed to the written forest management plan followed a basic procedure, essentially the same for SCS and SmartWood: 1. ) After a thorough review of planning documents, each team member would identify sites to visit that would test management under different situations; 2. ) The stratified sample of sites for field reconnaissance was decided by consensus of li-the team with respect to conditions or variables considered most important to check; 3. ) A chronosequence of past and present (pre-, post-, and active harvest) prescriptions; 4. ) The team would try to see as many sites as possible in the limited time available; 5. ) In the field reconnaissance assessors made observations, and asked managers questions, which then were compared to planning documents. Considering that many of the certified forest operations had districts, compartments, or other management units that were discontinuous geographically, the stratification used to compare forest conditions to the plan would represent a minor fraction of the total forest area. For example, the SCS assessment of 485,000 hectares of state lands in Pennsylvania managed by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry included inspections of 92 timber harvest sites (SCS 1997b). The SmartWood assessment of 23,473 hectares of state lands in Massachusetts managed by the Metropolitan District Commission, included inspection of timber harvest sites in 17 distinct compartments (National Wildlife Federation/Northeast Natural Resource Center and Rainforest Alliance 1997). Some 70% of the assessors who stated that they evaluated plan implementation against actual forest 67 conditions offered additional indicators—recognition that such limited sample intensity should be augmented by other methods of evaluation. 3.4.5 Indicator 2: Is there Commitment to, and Understanding of, the Management Plan? The second most commonly-stated indicator was more about management systems. Fifty-four percent of all assessors, 56% SCS and 54% SmartWood, stated that they evaluated the level of forest owner and manager commitment to, and understanding of, the management plan. Evaluating managerial commitment to a plan, or its understanding through the ranks, was a subjective exercise. Verifying an indicator based on commitment depended not only on what was explicitly demonstrated by written means, but to a great extent what was communicated verbally. Interviews were used, but judging the extent of commitment came down to what one assessor described as a "gut level feeling" that managers, in the words of another assessor, "seemed honest". Bearing in mind this subjectivity, SCS and SmartWood assessors suggested six common approaches they used to verify commitment to, and understanding of, the management plan: 1. ) First, each assessor on the team had to fully understand the plan themselves if they were going to determine the quality of the management systems of the client operation; 2. ) In the field reconnaissance the assessment team looked for historical evidence that the forest managers had done their best to plan, and, to comply with their plan; 68 3. ) The assessment team would interview as many key personnel involved in implementation of the plan as possible. The aim was for representation of: owners, senior and mid-level management, field foresters, loggers and equipment operators, and, if applicable, mill managers and staff. 4. ) Assessors usually tried to separate interviews along natural divisions of responsibility, so they interviewed head office managers separate from district offices; senior managers separate from middle managers; forest technicians separate from managers, logging contractors from supervisors; etc.; 5. ) In interviews, the assessment team would ask personnel to articulate a knowledgeable context for company policies, rationale for prescriptions, decision rules for various operations, and, in general, their vision for the target forest; and 6. ) To ascertain whether the commitment was actual and not simply stated, the assessment team looked for evidence that systems were in place to maintain the human resource capacity necessary for the operation to function. Examples of what assessors would look for were: investments in personnel— training and equipment, technology for record keeping and analysis, capital improvements in machinery and infrastructure, adequate supervision of work crews, and modes of communicating policy changes within the organization. 3.4.6 Forest Management Planning Indicators Stated by Less Than 20% of the Assessors One SCS and two SmartWood assessors said they wanted to see that the history of forest management had established a sustainable track record whereby managers had 69 demonstrated they were learning by experience. The assumption being that if actions had been consistent with plans and ownership goals, over decades, it was likely to extend their depth, continuity, and commitment to the principles of sustainable forestry. Two SmartWood assessors said they wanted to establish that the forest management plan met the certification program guidelines. Identifying potential deficiencies in the plan against the program guidelines was a starting point to an assessor's inquiry, but was probably not stated more often because the actual assessment process had to be more dynamic than ticking off where the plan met the guidelines. One SmartWood assessor was particularly concerned with the process used to prepare a plan. In such a case, questioning of managers was to corroborate their understanding and soundness of the forest planning process. 3.4.7 Forest Management Planning Summary Regarding forest management planning, assessors set out to determine the commitment and capacity which existed to implement the plan, to continue with the plan, to produce periodic updates to the plan, and to adapt the plan to changing forest conditions. The quality of the plan was checked through on-site comparison of actual conditions and activities with those stated in planning documents. SCS and SmartWood assessment teams always conducted on-site review of the forest management unit to verify the effectiveness of the plan in action. They did this by reading an array of planning documents, interviewing forestry personnel, visiting a sample of field sites, and then deciding if the plan really operated as the strategic and 70 tactical driver for forest management. Clearly, subtle interpretation was involved for an assessor to judge that forest managers were able to explain or defend their actions and that they possessed the "sensitivity" or "commitment" to the plan, that many assessors said were important to an effective management system. 3.5 FOREST I N V E N T O R Y A C C U R A C Y This section will present an overview of SCS and SmartWood criteria and indicators regarding the assessment of forest inventories. Data comes from in-depth interviews and documents of the FSC, SCS, and SmartWood. In general, the SCS and SmartWood certification standards make a well-founded logical link between the evaluation of the forest management plan and the importance of accurate and reliable inventories. However, they do not specify how the assessment validated accuracy or reliability of the forest inventory system. The information base of a forestry operation largely determines the level of management attainable. Without adequate knowledge of the distribution, abundance, and current state of forest resources, science-based forest management is fundamentally impossible. For informed decision-making regarding most forest resources, whether timber, wildlife, recreation, or watershed protection, at a minimum, there must be quantification and spatial representation of the forest cover (Avery and Burkhart 1994). An inventory system to maintain quantitative information and to.permit analysis, prediction, and monitoring of forest resources at different spatial and temporal scales are essential for adaptive management. 71 SCS and SmartWood forest assessments of any scale of operation checked for presence or absence of a forest resource inventory. If there was an inventory, then the quality and scope of the inventory system would be assessed based on the specific situation. Without an inventory, according to the FSC P&C, and the program standards of Smart Wood and SCS, assessors would make a professional judgment about the capacity of the manager to understand their forest resource without such information. Improving the inventory system has been a condition of certification for operations certified by both SCS and SmartWood10. 3.5.1 Forest Inventory Criteria Articulated in FSC, SCS, and SmartWood Protocols Monitoring of forest resources is a requirement for FSC certification. Principle #8, "Monitoring", of the FSC P&C, states that "monitoring shall be conducted appropriate to the scale and intensity of forest management activities." Criterion 1 of Principle 8 states that "monitoring procedures should be consistent and replicable over time" (FSC 1996). Criterion 2 of Principle 8 describes three areas for which data collection and analysis would be required: 1) Yield of all forest products harvested; 2) Growth rates, regeneration, and condition of the forest; and 3) composition and observed changes in the flora and fauna (FSC 1996). The intent of Principle 8 is to improve inventory systems that enable long-term monitoring of forest conditions, yields of forest products, and the social and environmental impacts of management activities. However, the broad intent of Principle 8 does not define specific inventory requirements for the forest manager. The certification program must interpret requirements of inventory systems as applied to a particular forest and the target values of forest management. 1 0 Information determined from personal interviews with forest managers of 22 certified forest operations in the 72 The SCS Forest Conservation Program's Program Description and Operations Manual states that "effective management must be based on a solid information base." Criterion A6 -"Management Plan and Information Base", from Program Element A - "Timber Resource Sustainability" expresses a philosophical underpinning to the criterion as "true management, as opposed to opportunistic exploitation, is built upon working knowledge of resource conditions." Imperative to an SCS assessment of that working knowledge is that "statistically accurate information is available for all forest resources to support key management decisions, without undue uncertainty" (SCS 1995). The SCS manual suggests inventory elements of a forest management plan that would likely be evaluated in the assessment. For the timber resource, there should be a system of timber typing, area and volume summaries by age or condition, data on stand health and timber quality, growth data and analysis, and historical records of timber removals (SCS 1995). For non-timber resources, there should be "available inventory data regarding known occurrences or populations of wildlife species of special concern, mapped locations of riparian areas and watercourses, deer migration corridors and wintering yards, and snag and downed woody debris data" (SCS 1995). The SmartWood Program standards relevant to the forest inventory system are in Section 3.0, "Management Planning" and Section 4.0, "Sustained Yield Management" of the SmartWood Generic Guidelines for Assessing Natural Forest Management. (Rainforest Alliance 1993). Criteria 3.3.ii and 3.3.ix, respectively, state that the management plan should include: "analysis of inventories of target species and factors affecting their population" and "a plan for US and through review of SCS and SmartWood public certification summaries or certification reports. 73 periodic monitoring and reporting." Criterion 3.6 states that "non-timber forest products have been inventoried and their management is incorporated into the planning process." Within Section 4.0, "Sustained Yield Management", Criterion 4.2 states that manager set an annual allowable cut based on "well-documented estimates of growth and yield" and Criterion 4.5 states that "growth rates, stocking, and regeneration are being monitored by a suitable continuous forest inventory system" (Rainforest Alliance 1993). Regional standards of SmartWood Network member organizations build upon generic inventory criteria as follows: • "On ownerships larger than 100,000 acres, growth rates, stocking, and regeneration are being monitored by a Continuous Forest Inventory or other suitable system" (Sigurd Olsen Environmental Institute 1994). • "A program is in place to update resource data (e.g., timber, wildlife, and plant inventory data), to monitor resource conditions over time, and... to adapt management strategies based on the data collected" (Institute for Sustainable Forestry 1994). • "Sufficient data exists on which to base forest management plan. • "Long-term monitoring is implemented to enable adjustment of management plans and strategies" • "Maps are produced at an adequate detail, scale, and provide operational guidance for management activities and facilitate on-site monitoring" (National Wildlife Federation 1997). 74 3.5.2 Assessment of Forest Inventory Accuracy as Surveyed in Interview of SCS and SmartWood Forest Assessors To examine how forest assessors would evaluate the quality of forest inventory information they were asked the question: "How do you validate the accuracy of the forest inventory?" In cases where the question needed clarification, they were asked: "How did you determine, for the forest resource for which you have the most expertise, that the inventory was accurate?" Nine SCS assessors and 19 SmartWood assessors were asked the question. Their responses were coded into six indicators, displayed in Table 3-9. 75 Table 3-9. Indicators SCS and SmartWood assessors used to evaluate the accuracy of the forest inventory in US forest assessments. Assessor Responses by Certification Program Frequency Percenl tage Stated Indicator: SW n=19 SCS n=9 SW+SCS n=28 SW SCS SW + SCS 1 How well do actual forest and stands compare to inventory data, maps, or aerial photos? 15 7 22 79% 78% 79 % 2 How credible or sound are the methods to produce the inventory? 11 5 16 58% 56% 57% 3 How well can foresters defend their understanding of the inventory system? 4 3 7 21 % 33% 25 % 4 Is the inventory thorough, not lacking coverage of significant resources? 5 1 6 26% 11 % 21 % 5 Are projections based on the inventory reasonable? 2 1 3 11 % 11 % 11 % 6 How well is the inventory quantified in the written management plans? 0 2 2 - 22% 7% 3.5.3 Indicator 1: How Well Do Actual Forest and Stands Compare to Inventory Data. Maps, or Aerial Photographs? Nearly 80% of SCS and Smart Wood assessors felt that the most important test of inventory accuracy was: "How well do the actual forest and stands compare to inventory data, maps, or aerial photographs?" Verification was done by straight performance checking of what did exist, to what was said to exist. The method was described similarly by SCS and SmartWood assessors. First, they reviewed management plans, vegetation, forest cover, or ecosystem maps, aerial photographs, timber cruise data, growth and yield calculations, etc.; 76 next, they stratified the property into sites to visit during a formal field reconnaissance; and finally, they conducted the field reconnaissance. The evaluation of inventory accuracy, in this sense, was a corroboration that forest conditions paralleled the resource as described within the inventory. 3.5.4 Indicator 2: How Credible or Sound are the Methods to Produce the Inventory? The second most commonly mentioned indicator, stated by 57% of all assessors, 56% SCS and 58% SmartWood, was: "How credible or sound are the methods to produce the inventory?" Verification of this systems-based indicator required technical expertise. An assessor with this responsibility had to be familiar with regional and professional norms for inventory procedures— established by accepted practice in private forest industry, university research, or by state and federal agencies. Therefore, some member of the assessment team had to possess strong professional experience in the area of inventory. If an assessment team lacked this inventory expertise, they would likely utilize a mensuration specialist from a local university or public land management agency. More often than not, assessors said there had been sufficient regional inventory expertise in the completed US forest assessments to base their decisions. Most assessors said they used 'common sense', which meant personal professional knowledge, to evaluate that inventory methods were reasonable. "Reasonable" methods were those that followed a standard procedure and produced numbers that, through checking, were deemed to be within an acceptable margin of error. In all cases, assessment of the soundness of a particular inventory technique was based on professional judgment. Assessors did not state that there were inherently certifiable or non-77 certifiable inventory methods. Rather, it was an issue of determining the sufficiency of the inventory to permit informed decision making while inventory methodology itself could vary in formality depending on scale and resources. A formal method might be a system of permanent sample plots, well-distributed over the property, measured every five or ten years, from which routine updates were made to plans. A less formal method may be a small landowner who has relied on regional growth and yield data in the past and had just completed their first timber cruise. Ultimately, if an assessor determined that the inventory system was inadequate, unrepresentative, or otherwise bogus, it would probably result in a condition or pre-condition to certification. 3.5.5 Indicator 3: How Well Can Foresters Defend Their Understanding of the Inventory System? Twenty-five percent of all assessors, 33% SCS and 21% SmartWood, sought indication of inventory accuracy by asking foresters to explain their understanding of the inventory system. Verification entailed asking the forester probing questions to establish their comprehension of inventory procedures. The assessor would want to learn how the forest manager interpreted the inventory information and how it was made relevant to the preparation and implementation of silviculture prescriptions and planning documents. This was a process-based approach that put the onus of validating inventory accuracy on the forester, not the assessor. In general, it was up to the manager to demonstrate that their inventory system was sufficiently accurate to make good decisions. A related concern was to determine the level of technical competence of those who actually conducted the inventory. Generally, assessors said they got information regarding the reputation, competency, and 78 honesty of forest inventory technicians either by questioning them directly or by checking with other professionals, external to the client operation, who were familiar with their work. 3.5.6 Indicator 4: Is the Inventory Thorough, Not Lacking Coverage of Significant Resources? Twenty-one percent of the assessor population, 11% SCS and 26% SmartWood, were concerned that the inventory was thorough and did not lack coverage of significant resources. Verification involved an assessment of how well non-timber or non-commercial biological resources were inventoried. Although much of the forest inventory evaluation would have been done by the forester on the assessment team, in this case, the wildlife biologist or ecologist would likely look at the inventory in terms of what was not included. Assessors who stated this indicator said they looked at how the manager accounted for variables that were usually not inventoried, such as: snag densities, snag decay classes, coarse woody debris distribution, understory vegetation, pre-commercial growing stock, and amphibian, fish, bird, reptile, and small mammal populations11. 3.5.7 Forest Inventory Accuracy Indicators Stated by Less than 20% of the Assessors Eleven percent of the SCS and SmartWood assessors mentioned that they would evaluate the accuracy of the inventory by reviewing the projections of growth and yield based on the inventory. Verification involved checking the projections produced from inventory data to determine if the forecast was sound. For some assessors, this amounted to 1 1 Interview questions on ecological variables, later in the paper, permit assessors to deal with adequacy and suitability of the inventory of some non-timber resources. 79 recalculation, manipulation, or comparison of inventory numbers and projected numbers. For others, this was a recalculation of the math which managers had used to form plans. Most commonly, it was a comparison between actual harvest yields and the yield curves generated from the inventory. Some assessors said they would check software programs to make sure that they were suitable for how they were being used and that they were calibrated correctly. Eleven percent of the SCS and SmartWood assessors said that they would evaluate the quality (not really the accuracy) of the forest inventory by checking the plans to see how well the quantified information from the inventory was represented in the plans.. The implication here being that the inventory was only useful if it were well quantified in written plans. 3.5.8 Forest Inventory Accuracy Summary In summary, the evaluation of the forest inventory for SCS and SmartWood was an assessment of the inventory system, not a test of inventory accuracy. Nearly 40% of the assessors questioned stated that the forest assessment was "not a statistically-defensible validation of inventory accuracy". The sampling procedures used in forest assessments did not, as a general rule, involve measurements, due to time and budget constraints that limited data collection, and therefore, it would be unlikely to validate the accuracy of the inventory. However, SCS and SmartWood assessors used similar methods to assess the state of an operation's data collection, storage, analysis, and monitoring. Assessors agreed that their methods were to check that the inventory was consistent with the forest stands visited; that the forest inventory was generated by standard and credible methods; and that the forester understood the information therein. 80 3.6 SUSTAINABLE HARVEST The SCS and SmartWood certification programs require a certified forest operation to have a sustainable harvest over the long term. This section will first provide a context for sustained yield as defined within these FSC certification systems and secondly present an overview of the SCS and SmartWood criteria and indicators regarding assessment of sustainable harvesting of the forest resource. Data comes from in-depth interviews and documents of the FSC, SCS, and SmartWood. For managed forest ecosystems, which produce timber or other forest products for harvest, a central tenet of sustainability is the capacity for continual resource use. The concept of perpetual harvest, or perpetual availability of non-commercial values, is predicated on the renewable resource of forests. However, the sustainable harvest level, over time, for any one forest will vary depending on the designation of both quality and quantity of timber or non-timber products to be utilized and the time required to complete a growth cycle. The FSC, SCS, and SmartWood all advocate maintaining ecosystems and conserving biological diversity, so an evaluation of timber harvest sustainability must consider the level that can be sustained over time whilst retaining other forest values. The assessment of sustained yield takes into account that timber management alone may not sustain ecological and biological functions and processes of species and ecosystems. Therefore, SCS and SmartWood certification standards are more complex than the traditional, agricultural view of sustained yield. The perspective of sustained yield as an economic model first and foremost is challenged by these certification programs, because with the economic approach other benefits 81 of forest management are either indirectly recognized after timber or treated as harvesting constraints. 3.6.1 Sustainable Harvest Criteria Articulated in FSC, SCS, and SmartWood Protocols The FSC P&C directly address sustained yield within Principle #5, "Benefits from the Forest", and Principle #8, "Monitoring and Assessment". Criterion 6 of Principle 5 states: "the rate of harvest of forest products shall not exceed levels that can be permanently sustained." The thrust of Principle #5 is that optimal utilization of forest goods and services for the benefit of society is a balance between economic viability of a forest operation and the ecological processes and functions that may determine the quality of timber and non-timber— and often non-monetary—values. Criterion 2 of Principle 8 states: "Forest management should include the research and data collection needed to monitor, at a minimum... yield of all forest products harvested." It is expected that monitoring data be sufficient to report on: "growth rates, regeneration, and condition of the forest" and "composition and observed changes in the flora and fauna". It is also expected that in the long-term management plan there is "rationale for rate of annual harvest and species selection." (FSC 1996). The FSC P&C are not an assertion of primacy for the sustained yield model and do not promote a particular model of forest management. The FSC P&C are for application to the assessment of forest management, in general, and not for determining best models of forest management, in particular. The SCS Forest Conservation Program Operations Manual provides considerably more explanation of the program philosophy with regards to timber resource sustainability than can 82 be covered here. Timber resource sustainability is a cornerstone of the SCS certification program. As the dominant element in a managed forest, if timber production could not be sustained over the long run, then that would be "fundamentally incompatible with sustainable forestry" (SCS 1995). Program Element A - "Timber Resource Sustainability" is comprised of six criteria, (for which there are 48 potential indicators in the SCS manual), to evaluate the "extent to which past and present timber management practices and policies have and will yield forest conditions compatible with sustainable resource utilization" (SCS 1995). In summary, the six criteria that address evaluation of the sustainable harvest level are: A.l) "Regulation of the harvest and forest structure over time; A.2) Silvicultural and harvesting systems maintain well-stocked and productive stands; A.3) There is a pest and pathogen management strategy to produce stand conditions less susceptible to devastating mortality; A.4) There is an appropriately scaled and well-maintained road access network; A.5) Avoidance of undue waste and inefficiency in the process of growing, harvesting, and marketing wood products; A.6) Management is guided by an effective and operational written plan that provides the long-term context and continuity for actions taken at any point in time" (SCS 1995). Five criteria in the SmartWood Generic Guidelines for Assessing Natural Forest Management, section 4.0, "Sustained Yield Management", directly relate to the sustainability of the harvest: 4.1) "Well-founded, site-specific rationale to silviculture prescriptions; 83 4.2) Annual allowable cut (AAC), by area or volume, has been set based on conservative and well-documented estimates of growth and yield; 4.3) A A C is being followed in forest; 4.5) Growth rates, stocking, and regeneration are being monitored by a suitable continuous forest inventory system; 4.6) Regeneration actions to ensure quantity and quality of future crop are implemented" (Rainforest Alliance 1993). Reflecting regional issues effecting timber sustainability, such as stands high-graded or left in poorly-stocked conditions, SmartWood Network member organizations delineate additional criteria: • "Management strategies prevent over-harvesting of individual tree species; • Management strategies emphasize improving long term stand quality; • Management addresses the restoration of degraded or low quality forest stands" (National Wildlife Federation 1997). • "For owners that harvest regularly, the running average annual harvest over any 10-year period shall not exceed average annual estimated growth for that period. For owners that harvest infrequently, the volume removed per entry shall be roughly equivalent to cumulative stand growth since the previous harvest entry" (Institute for Sustainable Forestry 1994). • "On ownerships with depleted stand conditions, harvest is set below growth in order to build back inventory" (Institute for Sustainable Forestry 1994). 84 3.6.2 Assessment of Sustainable Harvest as Surveyed in Interview of SCS and SmartWood Forest Assessors The criterion of a sustainable harvest implies that at a minimum a forestry operation should be able to demonstrate that the volume-or area periodically harvested in a forest can be sustained over time within a reasonable, and justifiable, range of deviation. To examine which indicators were used most frequently to assess the sustainable harvest, assessors were asked the question: "How do you determine that the harvest level will result in a long-run sustained yield?" If clarification was needed, the question was phrased as: "How do you evaluate long-term sustainability of the harvest level?" Eight SCS and 19 SmartWood assessors were asked this question. Their responses were coded into 10 indicators, as displayed in Table 3-10. The first six indicators, mentioned with more than 20% frequency will be reviewed independently, then the final four indicators are described together. 85 Table 3-10. Indicators SCS and SmartWood assessors used to evaluate the sustainability of harvest levels in US forest assessments. Assessor Responses by Certification Program Frequency Percentage Stated Indicator: SW n=19 SCS n=8 SW + SCS n=27 SW SCS SW + SCS 1 How sound is the forest manager's system to predict future forest growth and yield? 10 7 17 53 % 88 % 61 % 2 Does harvest volume exceed growth increment? 9 5 14 47% 63 % 52 % 3 How conservative is the rate of harvest, by area, at a landscape level? 8 4 12 42% 50% 44 % 4 Are forest function and structure, particularly older age or larger size classes, being maintained? 7 4 11 37% 50% 41 % 5 Is harvesting eliminating tree species that are ecologically important or of high commercial value? 4 2 6 21 % 25% 22 % 6 Do actual harvests follow planned or modeled harvests? 3 3 6 16% 38 % 22 % 7 To what extent are forest managers maintaining a well-stocked forest inventory? 2 3 5 11 % 38% 19% 8 Is regeneration occurring as planned? 4 0 4 21 % - 15 % 9 Has the manager identified future shortfalls in the timber supply? 2 1 3 11 % 13 % 11 % 10 Does forest operation adhere to legal regulations? 0 1 1 - 13% 4% 86 3.6.3 Indicator 1: How Sound is the Forest Manager's System to Predict Future Forest Growth and Yield? The most frequently stated indicator which assessors used in the assessment of sustained yield was the soundness of the forest manager's system to plan for future growth and yield of the forest. Sixty-one percent of the assessors, 88% SCS and 53% SmartWood, stated they used this 'systems' indicator. Verification of the soundness of the growth and yield system meant that the assessor had to judge that the methodology and knowledge employed by the forest manager to monitor growth and yield on the forest were based on valid reasoning and worthy of confidence. The basic elements of verification described by SCS and SmartWood assessors to evaluate systems to forecast the future forest, followed these steps, although not necessarily in this order: 1) An assessor established, through document review, if the operation had explicit quantified projections of future forest conditions. 2) If the operation did not have quantified projections, the assessor would ask the manager(s) to provide rationale for their assumptions of future forest conditions as made in plans or otherwise. 3) The assessor would review the basis for the manager's quantified projections, if available. Assessors wanted to know if managers were using generic yield curves or had they fit yield curves to their own empirical data? If they used their own empirical data to model future conditions, then how robust was the inventory? 4) Assessors would establish that there was explicit written explanation for how projections had been modeled or how yield curves had been developed. They also 87 questioned foresters or managers responsible for preparing forest growth data to explain their system, especially if written explanation was not available. 5) In cases where an external consulting firm or forester did the forest growth projections, then inquiry would proceed to the individuals responsible for the yield analysis. 6) A more subtle judgment for the assessor was whether the projections were realistic. In cases, assessors did their own quantitative analysis of available data to test the projections. Assessors also wanted to determine that projections had accounted well for stochastic perturbations such as insect outbreaks, diseases, fire, or other biotic and abiotic agents responsible for growth reduction or mortality. 7) If estimations of yields seemed overly-optimistic, the assessor would want to know if the managers had detected and understood the problems and what corrective measures were to be taken for the future? It could be that managers had discovered deficiencies with their system to predict future forest growth and yield only quite recently. If so, they would need to explain what was being done to improve the situation. Above all, if there were flaws in the system, it was incumbent upon the client to offer a defense and to improve. 3.6.4 Indicator 2: Does Harvest Volume Exceed Growth Increment? Fifty-two percent of the total group, 63% SCS and 47% SmartWood, stated that evaluating a sustainable harvest was a comparison of the timber harvested on the forest to the amount that was grown on the forest. Verification required the assessor to consider the 88 harvest and growth data over a defined period of time, for the total forest, and for different species or products. 1) Performance was assessed by looking at the historical and current trends to regulate the forest, including forecasts (as mentioned in 3.6.3) of future growth and harvest schedules. 2) Assessors looked for trends in past harvests over many years, either in management plans, in harvest records, in determinations of the annual allowable cut, or through observation of forest conditions. Naturally, for many small landowners, there may have only been one harvest to evaluate. For large and small properties, alike, there was bound to be some fluctuation in harvest levels as the transition to forest management was made, and for which the assessor would determine whether the rate of harvest was likely to contribute to the operation's target sustainable forest. 3) Integrated in the review of past, active, and future harvest levels was corroborating that the growth rate for the forest supported, and would continue to support, the volume being harvested and planned to be harvested. Forest level growth information looked at would come from inventory data, from permanent sample plots, from quantified analysis represented in forest and harvest plans, in models, in Geographic Information Systems, or from independent assessor calculations. 3.6.5 Indicator 3: How Conservative is the Rate of Harvest, by Area, at a Landscape Level? Forty-four percent of the assessors interviewed, 50% SCS and 42% SmartWood, said they evaluated harvest sustainability in terms of how conservative the rate of harvest was, by 89 area, at a landscape level. Evaluation of this indicator focused on the regulation of the forest and how rapidly the distribution of different ages and spatial configurations in forest cover was changing. Assessors who mentioned this wanted to see that, at the landscape level, the area harvested was tracked with respect to cover types and the total forest area. It was inferred that a conservative rate of harvest was one that was biologically and ecologically tenable considering the species managed for in a given forest. How conservatively the rate should be set would depend on the relationship between harvesting closer and closer to growth and negative impacts this could have forest wide. Information to determine at what point the rate was not biologically conservative—a subjective judgment based on team member collaboration—would be gathered through management plans, aerial photos, forest cover or terrain maps showing treatment units, in some cases an airplane over flight, and, where applicable, GIS. Assessors from both programs offered rates they used as a guide for assessing what the percentage of area harvested at the landscape level ought to be in the context of natural disturbance patterns. For example, if the natural rate of disturbance was known for a region to average out to be 1% of the landscape annually (100 year rotation), then this could be a starting parameter for related human disturbances. However, no assessor from SCS or SmartWood said that the program set a prescriptive threshold for the harvest in terms of a percentage of the total landscape or as a percentage of total growth. There was consensus among assessors that the trend over time should be that the annual harvest level be less than 100% of the annual growth increment. Of course, in practical terms, few of the forests assessed were cutting at anywhere near this level. 90 A few assessors said there were reasons why a landscape level determination of sustained yield would not be relevant to landowners of small parcels. First, small properties, taken on an individual basis, would be limited in their impact to the surrounding landscape. Second, because owners did not often harvest small properties on a yearly or regular basis, the economics of funding any one timber harvest could necessitate a cut proportionally larger area for their own property than the background rate of natural disturbance for the overall landscape would dictate. Third, because small landowners generally maintained continuous uneven-aged forest cover through selection management, the entry period and cut level per entry were probably more crucial than percentage of landscape subject to openings. 3.6.6 Indicator 4: Are Forest Function and Structure. Particularly Older Age and Larger Size Classes. Being Maintained? Forty-one percent of the assessor population, 50% SCS and 42% SmartWood, stated as an indicator of a sustainable harvest the extent to which forest function and structure, particularly of older age and larger size classes, was maintained. Structure was inferred to be both forest structure and stand structure. In general, assessors considered forest structure as the distribution of forest stands of different ages and species composition across the forest landscape and stand structure as the local distribution of trees of different ages, or species, or condition. Assessment of both levels of structure depended entirely on professional judgment, because there are not measures, but hypotheses, for the functional requirements of forests in terms of certain quantities of stand or forest structure. Verification of forest and stand structure, therefore, amounted to an assessment of the manager's ability to retain a representative distribution of old and large trees within stands and 91 late successional stands within the forest. Not every stand was expected to be stocked with big and mature trees. However, assessors would evaluate the impact of harvesting on the highest quality and most valuable trees or most mature stands. They would analyze the inventory to see whether the proportion of larger diameter timber was being maintained or was declining. If there was a declining trend, then they would want explanation for how and why current management or other factors had resulted in the observed trend. 3.6.7 Indicator 5: Is Harvesting Eliminating Tree Species that are Ecologically Important or of High Commercial Value? The decline of older age classes from the forest and older, larger-sized trees from stands is symptomatic of high-grading, which 22% of the assessors said was indicative of a non-sustainable harvest. Twenty-five percent of SCS and 21% of SmartWood assessors said they looked for evidence of systematic, or simply thoughtless, high-grading of species or forest types. Assessors stated different methods to assess high-grading. 1) The most common technique mentioned was to observe the quality and condition of post-harvest stands, by looking at what was still standing and at the stumps, to determine if only the most valuable trees had been harvested. 2) Some assessors stated that they looked at inventory records for patterns of decline in quantity or quality of valuable species. 3) Some assessors reviewed silviculture prescriptions to ascertain whether there was a singular, repeated goal of the forest manager to remove the most valuable species. 4) One assessor looked to the mill, through records or interviews, for signs of reduction in the dominant piece-size milled over time. 92 Overall, assessors were concerned with the potential for a sustained harvest to have adverse impacts on the forest through conversion of stands from high-value and high productivity to stands of low-value and low productivity, or to remove trees that served important beneficial ecological functions. For example, maintaining mature red oaks for mast production for small mammals or long leaf pines that provide nesting cavities for red-cockaded woodpecker. 3.6.8 Indicator 6: Do Actual Harvests Follow Planned or Modeled Harvests? Twenty-two percent of the assessors, 38% SCS and 16% SmartWood, stated as an indicator how closely actual timber harvests followed planned or modeled harvests. Verification of this 'systems' indicator was a comparison of records for actual harvest volumes with those projected in the plans. Assessors said that it was important to verify how well managers followed their own harvest rules. Adhering to the harvest strategy as planned demonstrated commitment. Deviation from tactical plans was tolerated, but assessors generally wanted to know if the deviation was due to poor prediction, unforeseen natural disturbances, or opportunistic exploitation. The latter, if established, was not acceptable. However, if the manager's assumptions were off-base or inconsistent with reality, and thereby forcing deviation, then this would point to needed improvement in forest level harvest scheduling. 93 3.6.9 Sustainable Harvest Indicators Stated by Less than 20% of the Assessors Eighteen percent of the assessors said that a sustainable harvest was contingent upon maintaining well-stocked (and vigorous) forest stands within the forest inventory. Related to stand-stocking, 14% of the assessors stated that they looked to see that regeneration was occurring as planned. Eleven percent said they wanted to see that forest managers themselves (and not solely the assessment team) had identified future shortfalls in the timber supply. Finally, 4% (one assessor) said that they would check to ensure that the forest operation was adhering to any legal regulations that mandated a sustained yield. It may come as a surprise that more assessors did not state "compliance with regulations" as an indicator. However, FSC-accredited certification requires that "forest management respect all national and local laws" (FSC 1996). The assessment of any SCS or SmartWood criteria involved checking an operation's legal compliance. In the survey questionnaire, assessors were asked to state their level of agreement to the statement: "Compliance with state forestry regulations should be sufficient to meet this program's standards." Assessors could chose along a continuum from "strongly agree, agree, no opinion, disagree, or strongly disagree." Fully 100% of the SCS assessors disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement. For SmartWood assessors, 91.7% disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement (one had no opinion and one agreed.) Therefore, 94% of all assessors did not agree that regulatory compliance alone was sufficient for a forest operation to become certified. 3.6.10 Sustainable Harvest Summary 94 In summary, the SCS and SmartWood forest assessors evaluated long-term sustainability of harvesting in their forest assessments using both management systems and performance indicators. For example, systems indicators evaluated methodology soundness and the understanding forest managers possessed to plan for desired future forest conditions, and whether projections were reasonable, and whether managers adhered to their plans. Performance indicators looked at the past and current levels of timber harvest in relation to how the forest had grown or was growing; the rate of harvest across the landscape; and comparison between loss or retention of late successional serai stage attributes both at the stand and forest level. Assessors were required to evaluate forests where management goals for yield quality and quantity varied. The importance of sustained yield was not abandoned, but assessors cautioned that traditional sustained yield did not necessarily ask what quality of forest was sustained, or how much and for how long? Forest certification assessments sought to identify how uncertainty of changing biological or social conditions was factored into projections. Specifically, how did forest managers plan to adapt management to perturbations such as pest outbreaks, volatile markets, or increased operating costs— any of which could impact timber availability or economic viability? 3.7 FOREST ECOSYSTEM MAINTENANCE Maintaining forest ecosystems is a goal of the SCS and SmartWood certification programs and one consistent with global principles for sustainable forest management. This section begins with a comparison of general principles and criteria related to ecosystem 95 maintenance from the FSC, SCS, and SmartWood certification systems. The section is divided into four sub-sections, each covering a criterion of environmental management important to the assessment of ecosystem maintenance. The sub-sections are: forest regeneration and ecosystem diversity; site quality (soil); riparian quality (water); and species conservation. Each sub-section presents an environmental concern of the forest assessment, first, in the context of the FSC principles and criteria and, second, in terms of relevant SCS and SmartWood criteria and indicators. Then the assessment indicators stated by forest assessors from both programs during in-depth interviews are summarized. Other data comes from the survey questionnaire and documents of the FSC, SCS, and SmartWood. Ecosystem maintenance was solidified as a criterion of sustainable forest management in the 1993 meetings in Helsinki and in Montreal, which brought together over 45 nations to reach agreement on the measurement and evaluation of sustainable forest management criteria and indicators. The Helsinki Process stated as criteria "the maintenance of: forest ecosystem health and vitality; productive and protective functions of forests; and biological diversity in forest ecosystems" (Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe 1993). Similarly, the Montreal Process stated as criteria "the maintenance of the productive capacity of forest ecosystems and of forest ecosystem health and vitality" (Montreal Process 1995). Kimmins (1997) defined ecosystem maintenance in terms of ecosystem integrity, which is "the maintenance of an ecosystem within the range of conditions or serai stages in which processes of autogenic succession operate normally to return the ecosystem to, or toward, its pre-disturbance condition." There is no single definition for ecosystem health or vitality 96 (Kimmins 1997). Likewise, the term forest ecosystem maintenance may refer to any one of productivity, diversity, function, structure, or processes, or, to all of the above. 3.7.1 Forest Ecosystem Maintenance Criteria Articulated in FSC. SCS. and SmartWood Protocols The FSC does not use the term forest ecosystem maintenance in the FSC Principles and Criteria of Forest Management. However, Principle 6, "Environmental Impacts" states: "Forest management shall conserve biological diversity and its associated values, water resources, soils, and unique and fragile ecosystems and landscapes, and by so doing maintain the ecological functions and integrity of the forest." (FSC 1996). The FSC definition of biological diversity is from the Convention on Biological Diversity (Convention on Biological Diversity 1992): "variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part; this includes diversity within species, between species, and of ecosystems." The FSC defines integrity as: "the composition, dynamics, functions, and structural attributes of a natural forest." Maintaining ecosystems is to be considered over a time frame that varies according to ecological conditions, and "is a function of how long it takes a given ecosystem to recover its natural structure and composition following harvesting or disturbance" (FSC 1996). In the SCS standard, forest ecosystem maintenance is one of three main program elements. Program Element B - "Forest Ecosystem Maintenance" is "concerned with the extent to which the natural forest ecosystems indigenous to the ownership are adversely impacted during the process of managing, harvesting, and extracting timber products" (SCS 97 1995). The program evaluates the extent to which management "incorporates non-timber components of forest ecosystems into programs and practices", as well as efforts "to minimize alteration of natural conditions and processes." The SCS criteria for assessing this program element include: B.l.) "Forest community structure and composition—maintaining a full range of serai stages from early regeneration to old-growth and a full range of tree and other vegetative species associated with the natural forest are maintained in self-sustaining proportions within the working forest; B.2.) Long-term ecological productivity—the effects of management activities on the ability of the forest, over time, to sustain key biological components and ecological functions; B.3.) Wildlife management actions, strategies, and programs—the extent to which wildlife and habitat are considered, protected, and enhanced during the course of timber management operations and as a distinct element of overall management; B.4.) Watercourse management policies and programs—the extent to which the bio-physical functions of watercourses are protected from the adverse effects of timber harvesting and road building; B.5.) Pesticide use practices and policies—the objective of a well-managed forest is to minimize the use of chemical pesticides, applying them as a management tool only in very limited circumstances and under carefully controlled conditions; 98 B.6.) Ecosystem reserve policies—the ownership seeks to inventory candidate areas and to identify and execute appropriate mechanisms for assuring the protection of key areas" (SCS 1995). The SmartWood Program Generic Guidelines for Assessing Natural Forest Management frame ecosystem maintenance as one of three broad concepts upon which SmartWood assessment criteria and certification activities are based. The concept is that "all operations must maintain environmental functions, including watershed stability and conservation of biological resources" (Rainforest Alliance 1993). SmartWood does not explicitly define ecosystem maintenance in the 23 criteria of section 5.0, "Environmental Impacts". However, conservation of biological diversity is covered in criteria 5.1 to 5.7. For example, criterion 5.2 states "that biological conservation is explicitly considered in annual operating plans." While criterion 5.3 states that "timber species on either local and/or international endangered or threatened species lists are not being harvested." Criterion 5.4 states "that threatened, rare, endangered, and endemic species or their habitat are explicitly taken into consideration during planning and harvesting activities." (Rainforest Alliance 1993). The criterion of ecosystem maintenance is articulated in regional standards of SmartWood Network member organizations, in general, through the following criteria: • "Overall management and harvest activities across the ownership strive to enhance, restore, or at least minimize the impacts on... composition (biodiversity), structure (vertical and horizontal) and function (biogeochemical cycles)" (Sigurd Olsen Environmental Institute 1994). 99 • "Silviculture is practiced with the goal of conserving and restoring ecological diversity and ecosystem function" (National Wildlife Federation 1997). The next four sub-sections will examine components of the forest ecosystem maintenance criterion, based upon results from survey questions concerning: forest regeneration; site quality; riparian quality; and species conservation. 3.7.2 Forest Regeneration This section will examine how the assessments of the forest manager's regeneration efforts were linked to maintaining ecosystems and their diversity. Timely regeneration of a harvested site through natural or planted means is accepted as a critical measure of success for any silviculture system (Nyland 1996). Most US states have forestry regulations or best management practices (BMPs) that set minimum stocking standards for regenerating harvested stands. The SCS and SmartWood certification programs evaluate regeneration to see that it first meets regulations, and in addition assess the quality of the regeneration program and consistency with the forest management plan. 3.7.2.1 Forest Regeneration Criteria Articulated in FSC, SCS, and SmartWood Protocols The FSC P&C address forest regeneration specifically in FSC Principle 6, "Environmental Impact" and FSC Principle 8, "Monitoring and Assessment". Criterion 6.2 states that "ecological functions and values shall be maintained intact, enhanced, or restored, 100 including: forest regeneration and succession." Criterion 8.2 states "forest management should include the research and data collection needs to monitor, at a minimum... regeneration and condition of the forest" (FSC 1996). In the SCS Forest Conservation Program Description and Operations Manual, regeneration is directly addressed in criterion A2 - "Stocking and Growth Control". Evaluation, in this respect, would be of "patterns and composition of regeneration and young stand development that determine future yields" such as: • "stocking levels and species composition of young stands; • extent to which original diversity of natural forests in species and structure is maintained through silvicultural prescriptions, • effectiveness of stand release treatments, and damage to residual stand during partial harvest entries" (SCS 1995). The criteria pertinent to assessing forest regeneration from the SmartWood Generic Guidelines for Assessing Natural Forest Management, are: 4.5) "Growth rates, stocking, and regeneration are being monitored. 4.6) Actions to ensure quantity and quality of future crop are being implemented. 4.7) Post-logging assessments take place to assess the impact of harvesting on future crop trees. 5.16) Future crop trees have been marked or explicitly taken into consideration" (Rainforest Alliance 1993). Regional criteria from SmartWood Network member organizations that expand on these generic criteria, regarding forest regeneration and ecosystem diversity, are: 101 • "Planting incorporates ecological factors... to restore high-graded stands to natural species mix and forest cover" (National Wildlife Federation 1997). • "Management activities strive to reduce risks from exotic species in the forest" (Sigurd Olsen Environmental Institute 1994). • "The cutting pattern will promote natural regeneration of desired indigenous species." • "Where low stocking or poor stand vigor exists, harvesting or other treatments improve conditions" (Institute for Sustainable Forestry 1994). 3.7.2.2 Assessment of Forest Regeneration as Surveyed in Interview of SCS and SmartWood Forest Assessors To explore the experience of assessors in evaluating regeneration criteria in relation to broader goals of conserving ecosystems, assessors were asked the question: "How did you assess that the forest manager's regeneration strategy would conserve ecosystem diversity?" Only assessors familiar with the subject or who had direct involvement in the assessment were asked the question. Ten SCS and 16 SmartWood assessors were asked the question. Responses were coded into 7 different indicators, shown in Table 3-11. 102 Table 3-11. Indicators SCS and SmartWood assessors used to evaluate that forest regeneration would maintain ecosystem diversity in US forest assessments. Assessor Responses by Certification Program Frequency Percentage Stated Indicator: SW n=16 SCS n=10 SW + SCS n=26 SW SCS SW + SCS 1 Is there successful regeneration occurring? 9 2 11 56% 20% 42 % 2 Is there conversion of forest type? 6 4 10 38% 40 % 38 % 3 Are silvicultural treatments varied in intensity or frequency at the landscape level? 4 4 8 25% 40% 31 % 4 Are forest managers retaining components of stand diversity? 4 4 8 25% 40% 31 % 5 Is silvicultural method soundly based on silvics and ecology? 4 3 7 25% 30% 27% 6 Does the manager have a system to evaluate regeneration success? 4 2 6 25% 20% 23% 7 Is the manager attentive to non-commercial trees, understory vegetation, or unique species? 2 1 3 13 % 10% 12 % 3.7.2.3 Indicator 1: Is there successful regeneration occurring? The most commonly stated indicator, was "Is there successful regeneration occurring?" Forty-two percent of the assessors said this, but the frequency was less for SCS assessors, at 20%, than for SmartWood assessors, at 56%. Assessors said that, in general, they verified 103 regeneration was occurring as planned by visiting a sample of past harvested blocks and visually assessing regeneration conditions. Assessors recommended that in choosing sites to visit that the sample include harvested blocks from different areas of the forest, different cover types, treatment types, and over a range of time periods since harvest. The approach described by most assessors (and this depended on the size of operation under assessment) was that they looked at some recently harvested blocks, from 0 to 3 years, some older blocks, from 5 to 10 years, and then one or two representative blocks older than a decade. When visiting sample blocks, most assessors said they did a visual assessment by making qualitative observations on presence, density, and health of regenerating germinants, seedlings, saplings, and pole stage trees, but without actually taking measurements. Only a few assessors said they actually did sample plots and collected data on number of stems by size class, DBH, species, and or condition. 3.7.2.4 Indicator 2: Is there conversion of forest type? There was substantial agreement, nearly 40% of SCS and SmartWood assessors, that a key evaluation of the regeneration strategy at the ecosystem level was a look for a trend towards conversion of forest type. The methods used to assess this indicator generally involved some form of spatial analysis of forest structure and composition, either through stand tables, forest type maps, aerial photos, GIS, or an airplane over flight. The different forms of conversion which would raise concern were: • conversion from stands of high-value to low value species; 104 • conversion from stands of high structural complexity and heterogeneity to very uniform stands with little structural complexity and heterogeneity; • conversion of predominantly hardwood stands to softwood stands; or conversion of predominantly softwood stands to hardwood stands; • conversion of predominantly mixed species stands to single species stands; • rapid conversion of the forest from predominantly late successional serai stages to predominantly young and immature serai stages. Many respondents said that conversion was a benchmark of how committed the manager really was to non-timber values on the forest, stating that conversion was almost always the result of pursuing economic objectives first. Assessors judged the appropriateness of regenerating stands according to the ecological and silvical characteristics of native species and biological patterns to succession after disturbance. The evaluation was not so rigid as to view one stand planted to a single pioneer species as non-certifiable. Rather, they looked at conversion where it confirmed a trend, seen in repeated silvicultural prescriptions over many years and over a wide area, that was producing a significant deviation from the historical or accepted stand evolution for the area. 3.7.2.5 Indicator 3: Are silvicultural treatments varied in intensity or frequency at the landscape level? Thirty-one percent of the assessors, 40% SCS and 25% SmartWood, described the evaluation of forest regeneration in terms of whether silvicultural treatments were varied at the landscape level. In essence, these assessors suggested that evaluating regeneration success 105 meant more than the simple survivorship or recruitment at the stand level. It meant that the assessor would be questioning the forest manager's approach to plan and apply treatments across the landscape. Assessors would likely consider how the suite of treatments (not necessarily silviculture systems in the traditional sense of even-aged or uneven-aged management) were considered in terms of consistency with natural perturbations. They wanted to see that managers could regenerate a range of species and plant communities to maintain the diversity of ecosystems (assuming higher or lower variability depending on the forest.) Many of these assessors described the condition they were looking for as one where the working forest would have areas of distinct management treatments—with areas in no-entry and no-cut zones, areas of light to moderate intensity, and areas of intensive timber harvesting. There was no rule for the distribution of treatments— as that was the purview of the manager— but at the current time it was implied that assessors were looking for more than short-interval, even-aged rotations across the landscape. 3.7.2.6 Indicator 4: Are forest managers retaining components of stand diversity? At the stand level, the issue of regeneration and diversity was expressed as an evaluation of retention. Thirty-one percent of the assessors, 40% SCS and 25% SmartWood, stated an indicator that had less to do with actual regeneration and more about how the forest manager was retaining components of stand diversity. Most assessors said they based their evaluation on the extent of biological features or legacies retained or created in stands, although they did not say that all stands required retentions. However, they looked for evidence that managers were holding on to, or creating for the future, trees that could serve 106 functions as den or mast trees. In the field reconnaissance assessors would observe current stand conditions for retention of wildlife trees. This was just a visual estimation of trees being used by wildlife and snag occurrence or evidence of recruitment of green trees to fulfill the function of providing available habitat. Assessors did not give numbers for desired snag densities. Finally, they typically sought the manager's rationale for how treatments were designed to promote the future presence of stands with characteristics of late successional serai stage development. 3.7.2.7 Indicator 5: Are silvicultural treatments soundly based on silvics and ecology? Twenty-seven percent of assessors, 30% SCS and 25% SmartWood, said their assessment of the forest manager's regeneration strategy considered the suitability of silvicultural treatments given the current state of regional scientific understanding of silvical and ecological requirements of particular forest types. Verification that the manager's system for understanding local silvics and ecology, and validating the incorporation of that knowledge into planning and silvicultural treatments, was commonly assessed through direct questioning of the forest manager. Assessors said they asked forest manager's to explain their regeneration program to determine that they possessed sufficient knowledge of biological and ecological processes for specific sites or the whole forest— to secure desired future conditions or to counteract undesired changes. Assessors from both SCS and SmartWood added that there were limitations in ecosystem or habitat classification for many states in the US. For many managers, such 107 limitations precluded strategic landscape level planning for ecosystem diversity, even though assessors would have preferred it. In the written questionnaire, 70% of the assessors agreed with the statement in item number 18: "An ecosystem classification system should be a pre-requisite to forest certification." 3.7.2.8 Indicator 6: Does the manager have a system to evaluate regeneration success? Twenty-three percent of the assessors interviewed, 20% SCS and 25% SmartWood, said they wanted evidence that the forest manager had a system to evaluate the success of the regeneration strategy over time. This shifted responsibility for monitoring regeneration (in the field) from the assessor to the manager. Verification of a forest manager's system to evaluate regeneration performance was described as a three part process. 1) The assessor would check plans and interview managers to determine that quantitative and qualitative targets for regeneration were present along with a protocol to monitor and rate achievement of stated target objectives. 2) In addition, the assessor would evaluate these stated objectives for regeneration as they compared to regional norms. An assessor's judgment could be based on comparison to regional forest regulations, BMPs, published technical reports, or based on their own knowledge of what was feasible for the circumstance. 3) Third, the assessor would corroborate that the system described in plans or by forest managers was in fact being implemented. Again, this check was primarily based on interviews of forest managers to ascertain that they had been systematically evaluating the condition of natural or artificial regeneration on post-108 harvest sites, and (in a best case scenario) incorporating their new understanding into future plans. 3.7.2.9 Forest Regeneration Summary SCS and SmartWood forest assessors responded with similar frequency for six of seven indicators suggested as methods to evaluate the forest regeneration strategy in context of contributing to ecosystem diversity. The exception was that fewer SCS assessors stated the visual check that regeneration was occurring as an indicator. This could be do to the fact that SmartWood assessors worked on smaller properties where comprehensive observations of regeneration could have been made during the field reconnaissance. SCS and SmartWood assessors did state with relatively equal frequency that it was the manager's responsibility to have a system to monitor regeneration. Both programs suggested two systems and five performance based indicators used to evaluate forest regeneration. 3.7.3 Site Quality This section will examine SCS and SmartWood assessment criteria and indicators related to the impact of forest management on the quality, primarily in terms of degradation to the soil resource. In this thesis, the evaluation of site quality criteria intended to encompass terms such as 'site degradation', declining 'soil quality', or declining 'site productivity'. Klinka et al. (1989) defined 'site quality' as "the particular combination of environmental factors expressed as a combination of soil and climate." This is a qualitative 109 definition which differs from quantitative definitions of soil productivity in terms of site class or site index, tree height at a given age to reflect growing potential. Brady and Weil (1996) defined 'soil quality' as: "the capacity of soil to function, within natural or managed ecosystem boundaries, to sustain plant and animal productivity." Any site has a vegetation potential based on the soil and climate. Forest management is more likely to influence the soil matrix than the climate, even though silviculture may alter microclimates. As the criterion will be explored here, site quality meant the evaluation of site-specific management impacts (negative or positive, short or long-term) upon the soil resource. 3.7.3.1 Site Quality Criteria Articulated in FSC, SCS, and SmartWood Protocols The FSC P&C address site quality under Principle 6, "Environmental Impact". FSC Criterion 6.1 broadly implies the inclusion of the soil resource as the "assessment of environmental impacts shall be completed appropriate to scale, intensity of forest management, and uniqueness of affected resources". Criterion 6.3 suggests that productivity should be assessed. The criterion states that "natural cycles that effect the productivity of the ecosystem shall be maintained intact, enhanced, or restored." Criterion 6.5 states that "written guidelines shall be prepared and implemented to control erosion, minimize forest damage during harvesting, road construction, and all other mechanical disturbances" (FSC 1996). The SCS criteria and indicators on site quality assessment from the SCS FCP Program Description and Operations Manual are in Criterion B.2, "Long Term Ecological Productivity". This criterion focuses on the effects of management on the ability of the forest to sustain key 110 biological components and ecological functions over time (SCS 1995). Indicators related to the assessment of whether site quality could be declining are: • "efforts designed to maintain the nutrient capital of managed areas; • extent of soil damage during harvesting operations; • length of managed rotations relative to ecological functions; • extent and appropriateness of whole tree logging; • excessive exposure of soils to harsh micro-climatic stress"(SCS 1995). The SmartWood Program Generic Guidelines for Assessing Natural Forest Management articulate numerous criteria concerned with soil management in terms of site degradation from harvesting: 5.10 Topographic maps... specify areas which are suitable for all-weather harvesting or dry weather only; 5.13 No timber harvesting is taking place in highly erodible areas or within pre-designated buffer zones for rivers and streams; 5.14 No tree felling is taking place on slopes exceeding 35 [degrees] measured over 100 meters, except cable yarding, or dictated by local experience and conditions. 5.18 Front end of logs is lifted off ground during mechanical skidding; 5.20 Skid trail gradients do not exceed 25 degrees (Rainforest Alliance 1993) Regional standards developed by SmartWood Network member organizations, and used in 75% of the SmartWood assessments, specified additional site quality criteria: 111 • "Soil productivity is maintained through adequate nutrient recycling and avoidance of soil compaction, and management for both fungi and rodent populations, to encourage soil mycorrihyzal inoculation. • Total layout [of yarding system] minimizes site disturbance and potential for soil erosion. • Roadway surfacing design and maintenance is adequate for minimizing erosion, rilling, and rutting. • New roads are not constructed in areas of slopes greater than 50%, high surface erosion potential or significant landslide hazard" (Institute for Sustainable Forestry 1994). • "Operation has policy for soil and watershed management; • Operation has policy for steep slope harvesting" (National Wildlife Federation 1997). • "Specific logging practice guidelines have been developed for felling, skidding, and hauling which are designed to... minimize or eliminate soil compaction and rutting impacts within the harvest area." (Sigurd Olsen Environmental Institute 1994). 3.7.3.2 Assessment of Site Quality as Surveyed in Interview of SCS and SmartWood Forest Assessors To examine assessor experience of evaluating site quality in practice, SCS and SmartWood assessors were asked the question: "How did you assess whether or not site quality was declining?" In nearly all cases, the question was understood. If there was 112 ambiguity on the part of the assessor, the question was phrased as: "How did you assess soil quality or productivity in terms of potential long-term effects?" Eleven SCS and 18 SmartWood assessors were asked this question. Their responses were coded into nine indicators, displayed in Table 3-12. The first four indicators, mentioned with more than 20% frequency are presented independently, then the remaining five indicators are described jointly. 113 Table 3-12. Indicators SCS and SmartWood assessors used to evaluate site quality in US forest assessments. Assessor Responses by Certification Program Frequency Percen tage Stated Indicator: SW n=18 SCS n=ll SW+ SCS n=29 SW SCS SW+ SCS 1 Is compaction and rutting avoided? 5 10 15 28% 91 % 52 % 2 Is soil erosion occurring? 9 6 15 50% 55% 52 % 3 To what extent is organic material retained on site? 5 7 12 28 % 64% 41 % 4 To what extent does the road system impact site quality? 6 3 9 33 % 27% 31 % 5 Has there been a qualitative decline in the diversity of understory species? 2 3 5 11 % 27% 17% 6 Is forest becoming more susceptible to pests or disease? 3 1 4 17% 9% 14 % 7 Is rotation length long enough to maintain soil fertility? 3 1 4 17% 9% 14% 8 Does operation have a policy for 'shut-down' season? 1 2 3 6% 18 % 10% 9 Is volume and quality of trees increasing? 1 1 2 6% 9% 7% 3.7.3.3 Indicator 1: Is compaction and rutting avoided? More than half the SCS and SmartWood assessors responded that soil compaction and soil erosion were important to evaluate the potential for site quality decline. Looking for 114 evidence of compaction and/or rutting problems, specifically, were mentioned more often by SCS than SmartWood, 91% to 28%, respectively. Verification of compaction took place during field visits to recent or past thinned and harvested areas. Assessors said they noted presence and extent of compaction through visual observation. To determine the extent that compaction was (or could be) a problem was typically based on assessor experience in conjunction with questioning the forest manager. Assessors seemed to be as concerned with the manager's understanding of, and efforts to minimize, this form of site damage, as they were with its occurrence. Assessment was regionally and site-dependent. For example, natural freeze-thaw cycles in northeastern and mid-western forests may restore compacted soils to pre-harvest conditions depending on soil type, soil depth, and degree of compaction (Reisinger 1992), which varied considerably from, for instance, coastal forests in the pacific northwest. No assessor mentioned using any equipment, such as a penetrometer, to measure compaction. Several assessors said that they considered the suitability of operating equipment, such as rubber-tired skidders or tractors, and the suitability of logging systems, such as ground-based skidding or cable yarding, according to the site conditions of harvest areas. Some assessors said they evaluated the impacts of rutting or compaction in terms of damage to residual trees. For instance, foresters with Menominee Tribal Enterprises had observed the correlation between running heavy machinery above hard maple root systems and heartwood stain, which negatively effected wood appearance and tree vigor. To the credit of Menominee foresters, and noted by the assessors, this was a practice that had already been curtailed. For an 115 assessor to make such an evaluation required a high degree of knowledge regarding the effects that compacting soils could have on residual trees, regeneration, or understory vegetation. 3.7.3.4 Indicator 2: Is soil erosion occurring? Fifty-two percent of the assessors, 55% SCS and 50% SmartWood, cited that the occurrence of erosion was one indicator that would help to establish how well forest managers were avoiding decline in site quality. Verification of soil erosion primarily involved checking roads, steep slopes, and harvested hillsides for presence of surface erosion, mass wasting, or landslides. There were no measurements made and the assessment consisted of visual observations during the field reconnaissance. With regards to assessing the linkage between soil erosion and site quality, assessors generally agreed that the data required to determine long-term impacts was not available, albeit desirable, so that it came down to professional judgment about the extent of the problem. For the most part, the extent to which soil erosion posed a potential long-term negative impact on forest growth was considered in relation to what the forest manager(s) had done and planned to do to minimize future soil erosion. 3.7.3.5 Indicator 3: To what extent is soil organic matter retained on site? Forty-one percent of the assessors, 64% SCS and 28% SmartWood, said that retention of organic material on harvested sites was an indicator they used to assess whether site quality would potentially decline. Verification took place during the field reconnaissance. The assessors who mentioned this indicator said they made visual estimates of the quantity of coarse woody debris and other organic residues in post-harvest stands. No assessor was able to 116 quantify the spatial distribution or mass per hectare of different organic materials as far as what would be acceptable or not. Many assessors said that the science on coarse woody debris was not sufficiently established to offer quantified threshold levels, even though harvest residues were widely considered important in building soil humus and maintaining nutrient availability. A few assessors said that harvesting operations that relied on whole tree logging would concern them. In their opinion, for many soil types, reliance on that technique would deplete nutrient capital over the long-term. 3.7.3.6 Indicator 4: To what extent does the road system impact site quality? Thirty-one percent of the assessors, 27% SCS and 33% SmartWood responded that the evaluation looked at the extent to which the road network impacts site quality. There were two issues to this indicator. First, to assess the damage to site caused by road construction and second, to assess the loss of site due to roads. Assessing road impacts variously entailed some of the following depending on case: 1) An examination of the design and layout of the road network was carried out through a review of plans and maps. This gave the assessor a preliminary basis to judge that the road system was well-conceived to minimize site damage or site loss. 2) Assessors would also interview managers to determine the existence of policies for road construction, road maintenance, soil conservation structures, and road deactivation, particularly with regard to effectiveness in minimizing impacts. 3) Some assessors said they looked for designated skid trails, particularly where harvesting over repeated entries. If there were designated skid trails, then in the 117 field reconnaissance assessors would want to check that they were marked and laid out as per the plan. 4) In terms of productive forestland lost to roads, some assessors said they calculated the percentage of the forest occupied by roads—for main haul roads as well as secondary or tertiary roads, permanent or temporary skid trails, landings, and log yards. They also considered the operation's policy for deactivation of logging roads and trails, especially where this contributed to restoring productive forest or reducing the erosion potential. 5) Assessors often said they inspected conditions on a stratified sample of roads, usually with attention paid to the effectiveness of waterbars, culverts, and drainage ditches. 6) Lastly, most assessors who evaluated the road system with regards to measuring the width and grade of roads, or the presence of roads in riparian areas, or over other sensitive soils, said that assessment was about manager adherence to regulations or BMPs. 3.7.3.7 Site quality indicators stated by less than 20% of the assessors Each of the indicators five through nine were mentioned by only one to three forest assessors for either program, so an average frequency of SCS and SmartWood assessors will be given. Seventeen percent of the assessors mentioned that they would look for ecological changes in the understory as indication of site quality decline. For example, assessors said they 118 would be concerned about a reduction in species diversity of the understory vegetation typically associated with a given successional stage. They suggested that such a loss or shift in species could be evidence of site quality decline effected by harvesting disturbance. Understory species' declines may also impair beneficial functions of understory nitrogen fixing plants or those integral in fungal-root relationships. Fourteen percent of the assessors said they looked for visible signs in the canopy of defoliation and for poor tree vigor or other growth qualities attributable to damage to residual tree stems or roots from harvesting. Fourteen percent of the assessors said they would be concerned about the impacts on site quality due to harvesting on short rotations or cutting cycles. As with other criteria related to the harvest cycle, most evaluations compared an operation's rotation lengths to regional norms, and to what was considered sustainable for given species or ecosystems based on regionally-derived science and/or consultation with experts involved in agency or university research. Ten percent of the assessors stated that they evaluated an operation's policy for seasonal harvesting shut-down periods. These assessors said it was important to see that: 1) a policy existed, 2) that it was being implemented, and 3) that the policy was adequate to prevent the site damage it set out to prevent— compaction, erosion, or rutting. Seven percent of the assessors stated what might seem an obvious indicator of site quality to the forester—to assess soil productivity as measured through tree volume. They 119 mentioned, however, that a decline would be difficult to establish without long-term inventory data, over a minimum of three rotations. 3.7.3.8 Site Quality Summary SCS and SmartWood assessment of site quality was mostly an evaluation of the operation's commitment to soil management. SCS and SmartWood assessors described an evaluation of site quality that primarily looked at site damage and possible loss of productive forest, but could not really determine, on the basis of a short field reconnaissance, if long-term site quality might decline. SCS and SmartWood assessors identified eight performance indicators and one systems indicator to determine whether site quality was declining. Of the four indicators mentioned by more than 20% of all assessors, there was similar response frequency for two and a different response frequency for two. SCS and SmartWood assessors were in accord with regard to evidence of soil erosion and the extent of impacts from the road system. However, SCS assessors referred to the evaluation of soil compaction and the retention of soil organic matter on site more often than SmartWood. Assessors from both programs noted that it would not be easy to determine if site quality was declining, especially in context of the uncertainty produced by such factors as global climate change or acid deposition. 3.7.4 Riparian Area Management This section presents an overview of the SCS and SmartWood criteria and indicators regarding riparian area management in terms of maintaining water quality and riparian habitat 120 quality. Data comes from in-depth interviews and documents of the FSC, SCS, and SmartWood. FSC certification systems place great importance on riparian area management. The intersection of timber harvesting or road construction with forest streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, vernal pools, seeps, and ephemeral water channels can result in negative impacts on aquatic and riparian areas. Criteria recognize the functions of riparian areas in protecting water quality and providing unique habitat for diverse aquatic and terrestrial species. In many regions of the US, riparian areas are essential to commercial fisheries and have special recreational values, and to these ends, management should prioritize water quality (for fish survival) and aesthetic quality (for personal pleasure). Riparian areas are ecologically distinct from upland ecosystems, and SCS and SmartWood expected them to be treated differently. Riparian area management in some US states is determined by regulations (i.e., California, Oregon) or in others by voluntary BMPs (i.e., Minnesota, New Hampshire). Also, forest management must comply with minimum federal standards for point and non-point pollution of water under the US Federal Water Quality Act (1987). However, in most cases assessors did not feel these regulations and guidelines were adequate to achieve the goal of maintaining water quality and unique habitat for riparian-dependent species. 3.7.4.1 Riparian quality criteria articulated in FSC, SCS, and SmartWood protocols The FSC P&C, for the most part, discuss the maintenance of riparian ecosystems generally in Principle 6, "Environmental Impact". This principle establishes that forest management shall conserve water resources (along with biological diversity and soils), and, by 121 so doing, maintain ecological functions and integrity of the forest (FSC 1996). FSC criterion 6.5 states that written guidelines shall be prepared and implemented to control erosion... and protect water resources. Criteria 6.6 and 6.7 push for a reduction in the use of chemical pesticides and for their use to follow safeguards to avoid environmental contamination. Criterion 10.6, in Principle 10, "Plantations", states "the techniques and rate of harvesting, road and trail construction and maintenance... shall not result in... adverse impacts on water quality, quantity, or substantial deviation from stream course drainage patterns." Finally, criterion 5.5, from Principle 5, "Benefits from the forest", says that "forest management operations shall recognize, maintain, and, where appropriate, enhance the value of forest services and resources such as watersheds and fisheries" (FSC 1996). The SCS FCP Program Description and Operations Manual delineates assessment objectives for riparian quality in criterion B.4 "Watercourse Management Policies and Programs". The objective of the criterion is to evaluate the extent to which timber harvesting and road construction adversely impact the biophysical functions of watercourses. Assessment of this criterion is of the forest operation's policy and practices for maintaining and enhancing the condition of watercourses within the managed forest (SCS 1995). Key indicators of this criterion from the SCS manual are: • "effectiveness of watercourse buffer policies; • extent and effectiveness of stream restoration projects; • effectiveness of design and maintenance of stream crossings; • frequency of stream crossings within harvest areas; • location and layout of roadways near watercourses; 122 • road bank management in areas near watercourses; • extent of observable roadway rainfall runoff into watercourses" (SCS 1995). The SmartWood Program criteria and indicators regarding the quality of riparian areas from the SmartWood Program Generic Guidelines for Assessing Natural Forest Management are: 3.3vi. "Management plan includes a description of measures for environmental protection, including soil conservation and watershed protection. 5.10 Topographic maps have been prepared well before logging or road construction which... indicate locations for streamside and roadside buffer zones. 5.11 No road fill is placed in stream courses; 5.13 No timber harvesting is taking place... within pre-designated buffer zones for rivers and streams, with a minimum protection zone equal to twice the width of perennial stream courses, and with a minimum buffer of 10 meters on either side;" Regional standards of SmartWood Network member organizations have specified additional riparian and water quality criteria: • "Rivers and stream corridors, steep slopes, fragile soils, wetlands, vernal pools, lake and pond shorelines, and other hydrologically sensitive areas are automatically designated as special management zones; • Design and layout of special management zones is considered at the watershed and landscape level; 123 • Operation has policy for soil and watershed management" (National Wildlife Federation 1997). • [Road] "stabilization efforts are employed to mitigate soil erosion and other impacts on water quality" (Sigurd Olsen Environmental Institute 1994). • "Zone widths are adequate to protect riparian and aquatic resources from sedimentation. Harvest area and roads are designed to protect streams from sediment. • Canopy closure over class I and II watercourses, post-harvest, remains at least 80% of total stream area or full retention where streams have less cover (50% for Class III watercourses)" (Institute for Sustainable Forestry 1994). 3.7.4.2 Assessment of riparian quality as surveyed in interview of SCS and SmartWood forest assessors To examine which indicators were most often used by assessors in evaluating criteria for maintenance of water and habitat quality they were asked: "How did you assess that forest management will maintain the quality of riparian areas? If the question was not understood, it was phrased as: "How did you assess that water or habitat quality would not be negatively impacted by forest management?" Ten SCS and 18 SmartWood assessors were asked this question. Responses were coded into seventeen indicators, as displayed in Table 3-13. Indicators were further grouped into three categories. These were planning, operations and practices, and riparian area conditions. The presentation of indicators will emphasize those where the average frequency of assessors was greater than 20%. 124 Table 3-13. Indicators SCS and SmartWood assessors used to evaluate riparian quality in US forest assessments. Assessor Responses by Certification Program Frequency Percentage Stated Indicator: SW n=18 SCS n=10 SW+ SCS n=28 SW SCS SW + SCS Planning 1 To what extent do managers meet or exceed minimum requirements of forestry regulations or best management practices? 8 4 12 44% 40% 43 % 2 Does management have an explicit policy for riparian management areas? 5 2 7 28 % 20% 25 % 3 Do managers demonstrate sensitivity to the importance of riparian areas? 4 2 6 22% 20% 21 % 4 Have riparian areas been identified and mapped? 2 1 3 11 % 10% 11 % 5 Do treatments in riparian areas follow the plans? 2 0 2 11 % 7% 6 To what extent are research findings incorporated in planning? 1 0 1 6% 4% Operations/Practices 1 How does road construction and road maintenance minimize impact on riparian areas? 9 2 11 50% 20% 39 % 2 Is width and application of buffer zones sufficient for riparian protection? 4 4 8 22% 40% 29 % 3 Is machinery kept out of stream zone? 5 2 7 28% 20% 25 % 4 To what extent is the riparian area being kept a no-harvest zone? 4 1 5 22% 10% 18 % 5 How well are operators supervised in riparian areas? 1 0 1 6% - 4% Conditions of Riparian Areas 1 Do channel or pool conditions indicate erosion, siltation, or sedimentation? 8 6 14 44% 60% 50% 2 To what extent is canopy cover maintained in riparian areas? 6 6 12 33% 60% 43 % 3 Is there evidence of decline in fish or any other riparian-dependent species? 2 1 3 11 % 10% 11 % 4 Is harvesting leading to excessively high water flow? 1 1 2 6% 10% 7% 5 What structural features are maintained in stream? 1 1 2 6% 10% 7% 6 To what extent are older, larger trees retained in riparian areas? 1 1 2 6% 10% 7% 125 3.7.4.3 Planning Indicator 1: To what extent do managers meet or exceed minimum requirements of forestry regulations or best management practices? Forty-three percent of the total group, similar for SCS and SmartWood assessors, said they would check for minimum compliance with all applicable forestry regulations or BMPs. Verification of this would require that the assessor be well-versed in applicable legal and non-regulatory codes of practice for the region. Verification entailed field checks and interviews with manager(s). A common concern assessors mentioned was: "How much more are they doing than mere minimum legal compliance?" Assessors from both programs expressed the expectation that managers should demonstrate they were doing more. For some assessors, exceeding state regulations or BMPs was critical because these were perceived as weak or ineffective. In some cases, certain stream orders (i.e. headwater) or stream classes (i.e., non-fish-bearing streams) were considered not adequately protected. A few assessors said that mandatory no-cut buffers, common to regulations and BMPs, would not be a dynamic way to manage riparian quality over the long-term. 3.7.4.4 Planning Indicator 2: Does management have an explicit policy for riparian management areas? Twenty-five percent of all assessors, 20% SCS and 28% SmartWood, wanted to see that there was an explicit policy for riparian area management. Verification would involve a review of planning documents for explanation of how riparian areas were to be treated differently than other managed areas. This indicator incorporated what was mentioned, on average, by 11% of assessors as an indicator—checking to see that riparian areas had been identified, mapped, and were being protected as stated in the plans. 126 3.7.4.5 Planning Indicator 3: Do managers demonstrate sensitivity to the importance of riparian areas? Twenty-one percent of the assessor group, 20% SCS and 22% SmartWood, wanted validation of managerial commitment, what many termed 'sensitivity', to the importance of riparian areas. Assessors expected commitment to be demonstrated first in manager's explicit policy, and followed by field-based performance. Demonstrating sensitivity is very much a qualitative judgment, whereby the assessor would try to get a sense for the level of concern or lack of respect for riparian areas on the part of forest managers. Verification, therefore, entailed substantial discussion with the managers and included field checks in riparian zones. 3.7.4.6 Operations/Practices Indicator 1: How does road construction and road maintenance minimize impact on riparian areas? The extent to which road construction and maintenance procedures were designed to mitigate siltation of watercourses was the most frequently stated indicator of the five which related to operational and in-the-woods practices designed to avoid impact to riparian areas. Fifty percent of SmartWood assessors, but only 2 of 10 from SCS, stated this indicator. Verification usually involved an inspection of road and stream intersections. A sample of stream crossings would be visited to estimate the potential for roads to increase siltation rates. Although it could be possible to observe siltation during an assessment, it was unrealistic to measure during a short visit. Assessors said meaningful reporting on siltation rates would require long-term monitoring by forest managers. Most examinations centered on construction, placement, and upkeep of temporary and permanent bridges. In many instances, drainage structures such as culverts would be evaluated to determine that these were 127 sufficiently sized, installed, and maintained. Some assessors said they looked at what the manager did to minimize the number of stream crossings by constructing roads and skid trails as far from streams. 3.7.4.7 Operations/Practices Indicator 2: Is width and application of buffer zones sufficient for riparian protection? Twenty-nine percent of the assessors, 40% SCS and 22% SmartWood, would evaluate the adequacy of riparian buffers, whether they were no-cut, partial-cut, or no-entry zones. Verification would consist of a field check to see that managers were applying buffers as written in the plans. Appraisal was also based on checking for minimum compliance with the law. If buffers followed the law and the plans, then the assessor would have to determine whether the buffer zone treatments (varying intensity of timber harvesting) were suitable to the observed field conditions. Determining if buffer widths were suitable was left to professional judgment. Depending on the situation, the decision was mostly a function of some combination of: topography, slope, stream order, indicator vegetation, soil moisture regime, or surrounding tree height. No assessor stated a fixed rule for buffer widths. Only 1 SCS and 4 SmartWood assessors said unequivocally that the riparian area should be a no-harvest zone. More often, assessors were inclined to evaluate the appropriateness of, and limitations to, harvesting activity in riparian areas based on site conditions. 3.7.4.8 Operations/Practices Indicator 3: Is machinery kept out of stream zones? Twenty-five percent of the assessors, 20% SCS and 28% SmartWood wanted an indication that machinery was being kept out of the riparian zone. Keeping the riparian area a 128 'no-machine zone' was different than 'no-harvest', however this indicator did not clearly distinguish an assessor's stance on that issue. Assessors did look for signs of rutting, compaction, crossing through streams, or other evidence that machinery was operated in designated no-machine zones. Albeit, many said that operating machinery in streams was a thing of the past in their area. As a related issue, some assessors suggested that where harvesting was acceptable in the riparian area that equipment work from outside the riparian zone and remove logs by low-impact yarding systems. 3.7.4.9 Conditions of Riparian Areas Indicator 1: Do channel or pool conditions indicate erosion, siltation, or sedimentation? Fifty percent of the assessors, 60% SCS and 44% SmartWood, were concerned with the current state of stream conditions, and looked for indications of erosion, siltation, or sedimentation. Observing these conditions was admittedly problematic. Erosion, and its impacts, siltation or sedimentation can be cumulative, episodic, and naturally occurring, so it was difficult to sort out inherent erodibility factors from those caused by harvesting. Nonetheless, this was an informal evaluation that attempted to find evidence of stream degradation. Assessors would walk along streams and assess in a qualitative manner the extent of disturbance in and near stream channels. Visual observation of streams would be done, looking for colored water from siltation, sediment filled pools, or signs of disturbed stream banks. It was not described as a systematic survey of channel and pool conditions, for either program. Also related to this indicator, and stated by two assessors from each program, was observation of the amount of structural features left in the stream channel and the amount of older, larger trees retained alongside the channel. 129 3.7.4.10 Conditions of Riparian Areas Indicator 2: To what extent is canopy cover maintained in riparian areas? The second most commonly stated riparian conditions assessors said they evaluated was the extent of canopy maintenance over the stream zone. Forty-three percent of the assessor group, 60% SCS and 33% SmartWood, said they used this indicator to evaluate maintenance of riparian quality. In general, the assessment involved walking along streams to check canopy retention post- treatment and as marked in pre-treatment stands. Verification was based on the professional knowledge of the assessment team ecologist or biologist (if present) as to what level of shade retention was adequate to maintain water quality and effected species' habitat. However, no assessor made known an objective measure of the tree density or percentage canopy cover that they considered adequate for any region or specific forest. Finally, assessors often took into account manager understanding of, and objectives for, the management of functional riparian species' habitat through variable levels of retention. 3.7.4.11 Riparian Area Management Summary SCS and SmartWood assessors offered 17 indicators used to evaluate forest management in context of maintaining the quality of riparian areas. There were seven systems-based indicators and ten performance-based indicators. Of the seven indicators stated by more than 20% of the total population, SCS and SmartWood assessors responded with relatively similar frequency on five out of seven indicators. Fifty percent of SmartWood assessors, but only 20% of SCS assessors stated road construction and road maintenance impact on riparian areas as an indicator. Sixty percent of SCS assessors, but only 33% of SmartWood assessors 130 noted the extent of canopy cover maintained in riparian areas. The distribution of assessor responses from both programs was even across indicators related to planning, operations and practices, and forest conditions. Both programs described a similar commitment to stratify their field visits to include many riparian and wetland types during the assessment. 3.7.5 Species Conservation This section will present an overview of the SCS and SmartWood criteria and indicators regarding conservation of animal and plant species. One goal of forest ecosystem maintenance is to manage forests as ecosystems for the purpose of conserving biological diversity. Certification, in this respect, has attempted to promote a balance in the human manipulation of the forest landscape to conserve animal and plant species. Many of the criteria already presented in this thesis have demonstrated that evaluation of stand level silviculture and forest level planning often incorporated concerns for conservation of non-timber resources. However, certification standards do not explicitly tell the forest manager how to go about conserving animal and plant species. This is largely because there are no well-founded quantifiable measures for biological diversity. Even without explicit goals, the FSC, SCS, and SmartWood protocols all maintain conservation as a bedrock principle. In this study, the interest was with regards to how assessors determined that conservation policies and programs were commensurate with the scale and unique set of circumstances of the range of ownerships under assessment. Data comes from in-depth interviews with forest assessors and documents of the FSC, SCS, and SmartWood. 131 3.7.5.1 FSC Principles and Criteria for Species Conservation The FSC P&C that address conservation of biological diversity and conservation objectives were already presented in the introduction to Section 3.7. Forest Ecosystem Maintenance. The SCS Forest Conservation Program criteria and indicators on conservation of animal and plant species are embodied in criteria B.3 "Wildlife Management Actions, Strategies, and Programs" and B.6 "Ecosystem Reserve Policies". Criterion B.3 evaluates "the extent to which wildlife and wildlife habitat are considered, protected, and enhanced during the course of timber management operations and... overall management of the forest (SCS 1995). Criterion B.6 states that "an ownership committed to sustainable forestry will seek to inventory candidate areas and to identify and execute appropriate mechanisms for assuring protection of key areas"— leaving the option to the manager to choose what the appropriate mechanisms should be (SCS 1995). Indicators written in the SCS FCP Program Description and Operations Manual for these criteria are: • "regular involvement of wildlife biology expertise in the management program; • extent of acquisition, analysis, and utilization of data concerning wildlife populations, habitat requirements, and species requirements; • degree of integration of wildlife concerns into management prescriptions; • degree of retention of desirable habitat features; • status of working relationships with state wildlife officials; • extent and condition of wildlife oriented special management areas, especially those associated with endangered species" (SCS 1995). 132 The SmartWood Program Generic Guidelines for Assessing Natural Forest Management criteria and indicators concerning conservation of animal and plant species that have not already been presented in previous sections are: 5.5) "Based on identification of key biological areas, roughly 10% of the total area under forest management (not including stream and roadside buffers) is designated as a 'conservation zone'. 5.6) Conservation zone is preferably a contiguous block, though it may be a series of smaller blocks linked by corridors as wide as the average height of forest canopy in a mature forest (over 75 years). 5.7) Conservation zones are clearly demarcated on maps and in the field and timber felling controlled so as not to take place in these areas" (Rainforest Alliance 1993). SmartWood regional guidelines used in US certifications have been less prescriptive than the general guidelines concerning conservation, and include: • "Management practices address the retention of cavity, den, and/or snag trees for wildlife habitat; and the management and/or enhancement of existing wildlife habitat elements. • Based on the identification of fragile, endangered, unique, or uncommon natural communities, appropriate areas, considered within a landscape ecosystem context, are designated as 'reserves or special management zones' on maps and in the field" (National Wildlife Federation 1997). • "General acknowledgment that current empirical information on the ecosystems under management is incomplete, and management initiatives demonstrate a 133 comrnitment to the continual expansion of this knowledge base" (Sigurd Olsen Environmental Institute 1994). • "Management of the ownership for timber production protects, maintains, or restores the natural distribution and diversity of flora and fauna indigenous to the area. • Areas of ancient forest, 10 acres or more of trees at least 150 years of age, are identified, located on a map or aerial photo, and protected from harvesting" (Institute for Sustainable Forestry 1994). 3.7.5.2 Assessment of Species Conservation as Surveyed in Interview of SCS and SmartWood Forest Assessors To explore assessor experience in evaluating indicators for the criterion of species conservation in practice, assessors were asked: "How does this program determine that the forest manager's objectives for conservation of plant or animals are sufficient?" In nearly all cases, the question was understood. If not, the question was asked as: "How do you determine in an assessment that species conservation was adequate for certification?" Eleven SCS and 18 SmartWood assessors responded to the question. The responses were coded as five different indicators, as displayed in Table 3-14. 134 Table 3-14. Indicators SCS and SmartWood assessors used to evaluate species conservation in US forest assessments. Assessor Responses by Certification Program Frequency Percentage Stated Indicator: SW n=18 SCS n=10 sw+scs n=28 SW SCS SW + SCS 1 Is there demonstrated commitment to planning and implementing conservation objectives? 13 7 20 72 70% 71 % 2 To what extent do forest conditions demonstrate manager willingness to modify treatments to create habitat or protect unique areas? 9 4 13 50% 40% 46% 3 Are forest managers implementing a program to identify, maintain, or protect rare, threatened, or endangered species or ecosystems? 7 5 12 39% 50% 43% 4 Are forest managers improving their acquisition of inventory data for non-timber biological resources? 3 3 6 17% 30% 21 % 5 Do conservation objectives comply with, or exceed, state or federal regulations or guidelines for the region? 2 2 4 11 % 20% 14% 3.7.5.3 Indicator 1: Is there demonstrated commitment to planning and implementing conservation objectives? Seventy-one percent of the assessor population, 72% SCS and 68% SmartWood, agreed that demonstration of manager commitment to conservation, a management systems indicator, was important in the evaluation. Commitment was also referred to as 'concern', 'intent', or 'awareness'. 135 Verification entailed a review of the forest management plan and other documents that described or quantified conservation goals and objectives, conservation programs, or provided details regarding the operation's resource capacity to fulfill stated objectives. Assessors typically looked at any applicable maps; inventory data for non-timber species; lists of rare, threatened, or endangered species; silvicultural prescriptions, and other useful spatial or quantified data. Plan implementation would be checked against a sample of field sites to see how managers followed through on stated conservation objectives. In some assessments, managers had specifically-defined procedures with quantifiable targets, while other managers would have had broadly-established objectives. Verification of commitment relied to a great extent on interviews with the owners, managers, staff, and often, especially in the case of public lands, with local conservation organizations, governmental resource agencies, and research scientists. Interviews permitted the assessor to question managers about conservation goals in general; about their conservation policies and programs they were supposed to understand; about species' habitat needs; about the intended or unintended consequences of their actions; about recent scientific findings for their region or current in the literature. Commitment was also determined in terms of professional advancement, training, or course work in areas such as botany, biology, fisheries, wildlife, or ecology provided to foresters (if employees) or sought (if self-employed or small landowners). Finally, some assessors mentioned volunteer involvement in the local community, with conservation groups, restoration projects, and forestry extension as further signs that a manager was committed to conservation. 136 3.7.5.4 Indicator 2: To what extent do forest conditions demonstrate manager willingness to modify treatments to create habitat or protect unique areas? The extent to which management modified treatments to create habitat or protect unique areas was the second most frequently-stated indicator, mentioned by 46% of the total assessors, 40% SCS and 50% SmartWood. This was a field-based performance indicator, assessing the forest conditions for evidence of a forestry operation's effort towards conservation. Verification consisted of two issues. First, to look at what forest manager was actually doing, through on the ground treatments, to manage for fish, wildlife, or identified species of concern. Especially for unique natural communities or species with critical habitats existing within the managed forest. Most commonly, assessors stated they wanted to see that habitat structures were being retained or created at the stand level. Primarily, this was done by means of visual observation of the distribution of snags and coarse woody debris, as actual or potential wildlife dens or nests. Additionally, assessors for both programs wanted to see management of forest stands as wildlife corridors for movement or habitat at the landscape level if appropriate to the situation. The second issue was the willingness on the part of managers to try different approaches, either in specific stand treatments or more broadly in terms of forest level planning. There was no measure of 'willingness'. Some assessors implied that it was shown by letting certain areas be managed differently as reserves, set-asides, or modified harvests. While others said it meant being broad-minded enough to see the need to avoid uniform treatment across the landscape. 137 3.7.5.5 Indicator 3: Are forest managers implementing a program to identify, maintain, or protect rare, threatened, or endangered species or ecosystems? Forty-three percent of the total group, 50% SCS and 39% SmartWood, stated as an indicator the implementation of a program to identify, maintain, or protect rare, threatened, or endangered species or ecosystems. This was a systems indicator that considered the commitment of resources towards increasing forest manager awareness of rare, threatened, or endangered species and methods for their management. As with most indicators, verification commenced with review of management plans and maps to see that the managers had identified special areas or areas with rare, threatened, or endangered species. Then, assessors would want to determine what the forest manager did to: 1) improve internal expertise (through training) in identification of, and planning for, management of rare, threatened, or endangered species; 2) hire additional staff or part-time consultants to make up for deficiencies in botany or wildlife biology; and 3) collaborate with outside organizations (i.e. Nature Conservancy), agencies (i.e., USD A Forest Service, Department of Natural Resources), or programs (i.e., Natural Heritage) that could provide resources such as databases, maps, lists, extension personnel, research findings, and other services. Ultimately, the assessor weighed the extent to which points 1-3 above were, in earnest, being integrated into planning and practice. The overall expectation would be that forest managers had a basic program in place and were working to improve the system to handle identification and conservation of rare, threatened, or endangered species. 138 3.7.5.6 Indicator 4: Are forest managers acquiring inventory data for non-timber biological resources? Twenty-one percent of the assessors, 30% SCS and 17% SmartWood, said that the assessment of species conservation involved an examination of what the manager was doing to collect data on non-timber biological resources. Assessors from the various regions with certified forests said that in their region non-timber inventories were uncommon. Assessors said that they wanted to see data collection improve and further integrated into planning. However, most acquiesced to the practical problem that it would be a slow, incremental process for many owners due to the cost of additional inventories. Most stated that these certification programs had lower expectations for this kind of data acquisition for small landholders than for larger private companies. Assessors placed importance on forest manager collaboration with outside sources for non-timber data. Expectations would be highest for public lands managers who would be bound more strictly by their constituents to manage for non-timber values than private managers. 3.7.5.7 Indicator 5: Do conservation objectives comply with, or exceed, state or federal regulations or guidelines for the region? Minimum compliance with the law is mandatory for any certified forest operation. Although this was assumed to be the bottom line, some 14% of assessors, 20% SCS and 11% SmartWood, still mentioned it as the baseline to evaluate the manager's conservation objectives. Evidently, assessors checked that the forestry operation was abiding by the legal requirements. In addition, some assessors said they inquired to find if forest managers understood what the regulations or guidelines were trying to accomplish for species 139 conservation on managed forests. Two examples given of non-legal guidelines were the California Wildlife Habitat Relation System and the Washington State Priority Species and Habitat list. 3.7.5.8 Species Conservation Summary SCS and SmartWood assessors stated with similar frequency that the evaluation was not of 'conservation achieved', but rather of demonstrated commitment to conservation. The assessors identified two systems indicators, (for example, the manager's system to identify, maintain, and protect rare, threatened, or endangered species), and three performance indicators, (for example, the acquisition of inventory data for non-timber biological resources). The assessment of, and management for, species conservation in forest management, at a practical level is in its infancy. Therefore, to a large extent, assessors had to take into consideration individual land owner or manager objectives and their capacity to implement conservation programs. The forest assessment was most stringent for public agencies and least strict for small landowners. Private forest companies and larger landowners would be expected to have adequate staffing capacity to carry out their conservation programs, but the assessors did not say what these should be. SCS and SmartWood assessors, in general, shared the view that the uncertainties to wildlife management and the dynamics of forestry-wildlife interactions were difficult to resolve within the time frame of a certification field assessment. 140 C H A P T E R 4 4. ASSESSING SELECTED VARIABLES A N D ASSURING CONSISTENCY IN T H E ABSENCE OF OBJECTIVE MEASUREMENTS 4.1 I N T R O D U C T I O N This section will consist of two parts. The first will present quantified comparisons from the written questionnaire of assessor perspectives on assessing selected variables, especially with regard to spatial and temporal scale considerations. The second will summarize forest assessor perspectives on how the SCS and SmartWood certification programs assure a consistent certification process in the absence of objective measurements. 4.2 ASSESSING SELECTED VARIABLES This section will present assessor responses to questions from the written questionnaire on forest management planning, sustainable harvest levels, and silviculture planning. The questions were asked to quantify certification program expectations and preferences with respect to the evaluation of planning documents in a forest assessment. The number of responses per question did not usually include the total assessor population. In such instances, to compare the two programs, inferential statistical analyses were performed on the survey data. For categorical variables with yes/no responses, a z-test for the differences in proportions was used. In comparing data expressed in years, Levene's test of the uniformity of variances was used and then two-tailed t-tests were performed on the program means. Because more 141 than 5% of the population was captured in each sample, the standard error was corrected by the 'finite population correction factor'-the square root of ((N-n)/(N-l)). 4.2.1 Forest Management Planning From the analysis of question 7: "Which time horizon best reflects how long this program expects the forest management plan to be?", there was a bimodal distribution among the forest assessors for both programs, (Table 4-1). SCS assessors were spread equally, 50% looked for a short forest management plan from 0 to 25 years and 50% for a long plan, more than 50 years. SmartWood assessors split 43.75 % for a short forest management plan from 0 to 25 years and 50% for a long plan more than 50 years, and 6.25% or a plan from 25 to 50 years. About all this shows is that SCS and SmartWood did not have a rule for the preferred length of the forest management plan. The data may also suggest that half the assessors interpreted the question as how long the program expects a functional, operational plan to be active, which would be between 0 and 25 years. For the half that interpreted the question as how long into the future the forecast should be looking, then greater than 50 years is taking into consideration forest conditions out through one rotation. Table 4-1. Expected length of the forest management plan. Years SCS SmartWood SCS + SW n=10 n=22 n= 32 Count % Count % Count % 0 to 9 2 20% 0 - 2 6.25 % 10 to 24 3 30% 9 40.9 % 12 37.5 % 25 to 49 0 - 2 9.1 % 2 6.25 % 50 to 100 3 30 % 7 31.8 % 10 31.25 % > 100 2 20% 4 18.2 % 6 18.75 % 142 To compare the differences between the two programs, the mean of each age class was taken (the final age class was considered from 100 to 150 years) and weighted by its frequency to find the sample means. A t-test was performed on the two means, 53.5 years for SCS and 56.9 years for SmartWood, and there was found to be no significant difference at the 95% confidence level. The analysis of question 8, "How often should forest management plans be updated?", demonstrated agreement between SCS and SmartWood assessors, (Table 4-2). Overall, assessors felt that the forest management plan should be updated every 8.6 years. The SCS mean was every 8.13 years, while SmartWood assessors indicated on average updates should be every 8.82 years. The result of a two-tailed t-test with at the 95% confidence level was that there was no significant difference between SCS and SmartWood regarding the frequency of updating the forest management plan. Table 4-2 How often should forest management plans be updated? SCS SmartWood SCS + sw n=8 n=22 n=30 Mean 8.13 years 8.82 years 8.63 years Range 5 to 15 years 3 to 15 years 3 to 15 years In question 9, from the written questionnaire, assessors were asked to rank the importance of data sources that they used to assess the forest inventory. Ranks were from 1 to 3, with one being the most important source. This question aimed to clarify assessor preferences for resource data that enabled checking of actual forest conditions to representations of the forest in planning documents. The available choices were: a.) paper 143 maps; b) air photos; c) satellite images; d) over-flight; e) field visit; f) Geographic Information Systems; and g) other. The number of 1st, 2 n d, and 3 r d ranks for each of the above seven categories were tabulated. These were weighted by 1 for 1st rank, 2/3 for a 2 n d rank, and 1/3 for a 3 r d rank. Tabulated values were multiplied by weighted values to get an overall rank. SCS and SmartWood assessors chose the same three most important data sources to check the forest inventory. These were the field visit, paper maps, and inventory plot data, (Table 4-3). For the 'other' category, SCS and SmartWood assessors indicated "Inventory Plot Data" and some SmartWood assessors chose "Forest Management Plan". Satellite Images were not considered important for assessing the forest inventory to either program. SmartWood assessors did not consider an airplane over-flight important. SCS assessors, working on larger forests, on average, probably had more reason to utilize landscape assessment tools such GIS or an over-flight. Table 4-3. Most important sources of data used to assess forest inventory. Certification Program Assessor Ranking of the Importance of Data Source: 1st 3 r d 4 t h 5 t h 6 t h SCS Field Visit Paper Maps Inventory Plot Data GIS Over-flight Aerial Photos SmartWood Field Visit Paper Maps Inventory Plot Data Forest Management Plan Aerial Photos GIS SCS, n=ll; SW, n = 24; n= 35, 1 case excluded. 144 4.2.2 Sustainable Harvest Levels The indicators assessors used to evaluate sustainable harvest levels, presented in section 3.6, had much to do with comparing the actual forest to the projected or modeled forest. This section will look at two questions from the written questionnaire related to the evaluation of growth and yield projections. Question 13 is presented before question 12, to establish the frequency with which projections of growth and yield were assessed. In question 13, assessors were asked whether they analyzed projections of future timber growth and yield in a forest assessment. The choices were: 1 - yes, 0 - no. In the majority of cases, in Table 4-4, projections were analyzed by the assessment team. For the total assessor population, 76.5% answered yes to question 13. For SCS, 83.3% of the assessors answered yes, while 72.7% of SmartWood assessors answered yes. The result of a z-test for the difference of these two proportions indicated that there was no significant difference, at a = 0.05, between SCS and SmartWood in terms of whether the forest manager's projections of future timber availability were analyzed in a forest assessment. Table 4-4. Did assessment team analyze projections of future growth and yield? SCS SmartWood SCS + sw Count: Yes No Yes No Yes No 10 2 16 6 26 8 Proportion: 83.3 % 16.7% 72.7 % 27.3 % 76.5% 23.5% n = 34; Two cases excluded. 145 Question 12 asked forest assessors how far into the future growth and yield projections which were used to set the harvest levels should look. There was an interval scale of six time periods, numbered 1 to 6, from which to choose: 1) 0 to 9 years, 2) 10 to 24 years, 3) 25 to 49 years, 4) 50 to 100 years, 5) more than 100 years, and 6) other. The assessor responses, in Figure 4.1, suggest that generally more assessors had the opinion that harvest levels should be based on long-term, rather than short-term, forecasts. However, it was SmartWood assessors who pulled the total assessor group toward the long-term projections, as SCS assessors were distributed evenly across each time period from 10 to 24 years through more than 100 years. Taking the total assessor population, 60% selected the time period 50 to 100 years and 25% chose the period more than 100 years. For SmartWood assessors, 75% indicated that growth and yield projections should be looking more than 50 years into the future. The SCS assessors were spread as equally for forecasts above 50 years as below. 16 in CD w c o CL CO 0 CD E 3 14 + 12 10 4 + • SCS • SmartWood • Total 0to9 10 to 24 25 to 49 Time in Years 50 to 100 >100 Figure 4.1 Forest growth and yield projections should forecast this far forward. 146 4.2.3 Silviculture Planning Questions 15 and 16 asked assessors: "Did your assessment team review current (15) and past (16) silviculture prescriptions?" These questions were asked to determine to what extent written timber harvest plans defining silvicultural treatments on the forest were being assessed, both with regard to current activities, but also for historical timber harvests. For both questions assessors could answer: 1-yes, 0-no. Results are in Table 4-5 and 4-6. Table 4-5 Did assessment team review current written silviculture prescriptions? SCS SmartWood SCS + SW Count: Yes No Yes No Yes No 10 1 22 2 32 3 Proportion: 90.9 % 9.1 % 91.7 % 8.3 % 91.4 % 8.6 % n = 35; One case excluded. Assessors agreed that their assessment team did review current written silviculture prescriptions. More than 90% of all assessors affirmed this form of document review, which would have been a standard procedure for SCS and SmartWood programs. The review of past written silviculture prescriptions was less commonly done. For all assessors, approximately 70% responded that they did review past written silviculture prescriptions. Nearly 82% of the SCS assessors said this, however fewer SmartWood assessors, 62.5%, indicated reviewing past written silviculture prescriptions. The gap between the two programs for this variable may be accounted for by the greater number of small ownerships certified by SmartWood. In many cases, smaller ownerships may not have had a long cutting 147 history, nor extensive written records of silviculture prescriptions. The result of a z-test for the difference of these two proportions indicated that there was no significant difference, at a = 0.05, between SCS and SmartWood in terms of whether the forest manager's projections of future timber availability were analyzed in a forest assessment. Table 4-6. Did assessment team review past written silviculture prescriptions? SCS SmartWood SCS + sw Yes No Yes No Yes No Count: 9 2 15 9 24 11 Proportion: 81.8 % 18.2 % 62.5 % 37.5% 68.6 % 31.4 % n = 35; One case excluded. As shown, assessors did evaluate historical records in the assessment of silvicultural treatments. Twenty of the assessors who answered 'yes' to question 16 responded to follow-up question, 16a, that asked, on average, how far back into the historical record assessors would review. From the analysis of question 16a, in Table 4-7, there was evidence that assessors had gone back as far as three decades and at the minimum, three years to review past silviculture prescriptions. Table 4-7. How far back were written silviculture prescriptions reviewed? SCS SmartWood SCS + sw n=7 n=13 n = 20 Mean 14.14 years 9.31 years 11 years Range 4 to 30 years 3 to 25 years 3 to 30 years 148 The assessor responses spanned a wide time frame, as much as 27 years. SCS assessors reviewed prescriptions further back in time on average than did SmartWood assessors. Possibly due to the longer histories of most SCS certified forests when compared to the higher proportion of small ownerships certified by SmartWood. The result of a two-tailed t-test at a = 0.05 indicated that there was not a significant difference between SCS and SmartWood with regard to how far back in time they reviewed written silviculture prescriptions. < 4.2.4 Summary For the eight questions analyzed and presented in this section, there was not a significant difference in the way that SCS and SmartWood forest assessors responded. From the data, there was no conclusion that could be made with regard to program preferences for the length of a forest management plan. SCS and SmartWood assessors agreed that the forest management plan should be updated, on average, every 8.6 years—or between 5 and 10 years. There was similar agreement among assessors that the most important data sources used to assess the forest inventory, in order of importance, were the field visit, paper maps, and inventory plot data. In the typical forest assessment, SCS and SmartWood assessment teams analyzed forest growth and yield projections 76.5% of the time. The expectancy of both programs was that forecasts of future timber availability should be looking more long-term than short-term, as 76% of the assessors chose a period longer than 25 years. Current silviculture prescriptions were reviewed over 90% of the time, although past written silviculture prescriptions were only reviewed, on average, by 70% of the assessors. SCS and 149 SmartWood assessors who did review past silvicultural prescriptions said, on average, that they looked back about one decade into the past. 4.3 ASSURING CREDIBILITY A N D CONSISTENCY This section will concentrate on the third main research question of the thesis: "How do the SCS and SmartWood certification programs provide assurance of credibility and consistency in their forest assessments?" The information presented here came from personal interviews with SCS and SmartWood forest assessors and reflects their perspectives on how these programs assure the public they are credible or consistent. These are the opinions of assessors based on their experiences during a short period in the development of two certification programs. Such opinions did not confer that either program can, or cannot, assure credibility or consistency. Rather, they reflect how assessors believe these certification programs are doing to address issues of credibility or consistency. Accepting a certification program's claim that an operation is "well-managed", or, is being managed sustainably, depends on the credibility of the process. As stated in section 1.5.2, an effective certification system has to be credible (Bass 1997, Baharuddin 1995). Credibility is important to anyone interested in certification, be they: consumers, the forest industry, non-governmental organizations, scientists, academics, forestry professionals, and governments. However, each of these interests may have different expectations for what is credible. In this study, credibility means that the certification process was capable of being believed and that it was trustworthy. This belief and truthfulness must be established on the basis of scientific understanding of natural and social systems—and the management of both. 150 However, certification of forest management has not been a scientific endeavor in the sense of research conducted with an experimental design to be objective, replicable, and measurable. The scientific credibility of certification has been based on the consistency of certification decisions. Between two or more certification programs, consistency implies a trend towards making the same certification decisions. SGS Silviconsult Ltd. (1993) stated this expectation as "two independent accredited certification programs should be able, with a fair degree of reliability, to measure the same scores for a particular forest management operation, and on that basis arrive at the same decision as to whether the forest should or should not be certified." Within a certification program, consistency implies that different teams of individual assessors would return a similar certification decision if they independently evaluated the same forest operation. 4.3.1 Assessor Responses to Credibility and Consistency Issues Expressed in Interview Question To explore issues of credibility and consistency, SCS and SmartWood forest assessors were asked: "What is it about this program that would permit another equally qualified forestry professional to reach the same conclusions?" Most assessors understood the question. If an assessor wanted clarification on the question, it was rephrased as: "What is it about this certification program that provides consistency between different assessment teams?" The question was asked of 11 SCS assessors and 18 SmartWood assessors. There were 13 distinct types of assessor responses. These are listed in Table 4-8 by the frequency with which assessors stated them. Count and percentage statistics were not 151 displayed in this table, because ten of the response types were stated by less than three assessors. Where there was a difference between SCS and SmartWood, percentages are given in the text, otherwise, assume assessors gave a response with about the same frequency. Assessor responses as to what lent consistency to the certification system were grouped into three categories: 1. ) the standards; 2. ) the professionalism of the assessor; 3. ) the protocols that execute the overall certification program. These three categories summarize what assessors described as aspects that produced consistency in the forest assessment process. However, some assessors had the opinion that the process was not entirely consistent. Nearly one-third of SCS and SmartWood assessors stated, in one way or another, that they were "not confident the process was repeatable— as the standards were not objective and the results would vary due to the extent of individual judgment." With the majority of assessors, although they may have had this criticism, they went on to mention how the process helped assure consistency. There were only a few assessors for whom the lack of measurable indicators made the process unreliable. 152 Table 4-8. Assessor responses for SCS and SmartWood systems which help assure certification consistency. Rank: Stated Response: 1 Standards are clearly defined, well-structured, and followed. 2 Assessors have regional expertise and credibility based on years of professional experience and advanced education. 3 Program assessment manual. 4 Scoring system. 5 Team leader brings direction and continuity. 5 External peer review. 7 Standards are based on science. 8 Assessors with prior assessment experience. 9 Decision making is based on consensus. 10 Same assessors repeatedly do assessments together. 11 Assessor training and orientation programs. 12 Internal program review. 13 FSC regional guidelines, when in place, would permit repetition. 4.3.2 Consistency Through Standards The prevailing response, by 52% of the assessors, was that the standards were well-defined and well-structured. SCS and SmartWood assessors agreed that because the standards were developed based on science they brought credibility to the process. These respondents 153 said that current SCS or SmartWood program standards had been developed by bona fide experts, with attention to both regionally and globally derived science. Overall, of those who shared the opinion that the standards brought consistency, most indicated that it was still through individual interpretation and judgment that a standard was evaluated. Only one assessor mentioned that the development of FSC regional standards would make the process more replicable, more consistent than the current use of SCS and SmartWood program standards.12 Many assessors indicated that the standards were sufficiently well-delineated to reign in freewheeling and divergent personal opinion. In summary, slightly more than half of the assessors felt that if a different, but equally qualified, team of assessors applied the same set of standards to the same forest operation, then they should get similar results. 4.3.3 Consistency Through Assessor Professionalism One-third of SCS and SmartWood assessors stated that it was their professional and educational qualifications that led to a consistent process. Their opinion was that both SCS and SmartWood had fielded assessment teams composed of top-ranked professionals with extensive practical experience. As presented in section 3.3.2, assessors often had strong academic scientific expertise and, on average, more than 20 years practical and professional forestry experience. Given that assessors had considerable experience, what was it about the certification program that could fit their specialized knowledge to the particular requirement of forest assessment? Fourteen percent of the assessors responded that they felt the team leader 1 2 At the time of this research, FSC regional standards were in developmental stages, so comment on those standards would have been speculative. 154 provided the direction and continuity to make the process repeatable. SCS and SmartWood documents state that the role of the team leader is to provide guidance and stability to the process (SCS 1995, SmartWood 1993). In addition, some SmartWood assessors said that the SmartWood assessor training programs would standardize the process. Thirty percent of SCS assessors suggested that because SCS had used fewer assessors who repeatedly worked together, they had developed a common, and consistent, understanding of the program. A few SmartWood assessors stated that past experience on an assessment team (on average more than 3 assessments completed per person) produced standardization between assessments through increased understanding of forest auditing. 4.3.4 Consistency Through Program Protocols The program protocols could, from the perspective of some assessors, reduce variation. The written program manual was the most commonly stated protocol, mentioned on average by 21% of SCS and SmartWood assessors. The instruction provided in the manual that described program methodology— from standards guidelines to decision-making, scoring, and report writing— was an important factor in keeping assessors 'all on the same page'. The scoring system was mentioned by 22% of SmartWood assessors, who said it was clearly defined and provided ample "justification" for what scores meant qualitatively. None of the SCS assessors responded that the SCS scoring system was critical to program consistency. 155 SCS and SmartWood assessors alike thought that external peer review was a protocol that provided consistency. Assessors responded that the external check from peer review would help validate the technical observations and findings of the assessment teams. Using a peer review process would hopefully reduce variation and, as one respondent said, "smooth out noise in the system." However, some assessors pointed out that the same concerns with regard to individual judgment in the forest assessment would extend to peer reviewers, especially if they were not familiar with the forest under evaluation, or with the standards or the assessment process. The final two points on protocols of the certification program which reinforced consistency had to do with internal aspects of the certification decision-making process. First, a few assessors said that the influence of individual judgment was buffered by consensus decision-making. These assessors felt that the collaboration of the assessment team, built across disciplines and expertise, provided a check on individual subjectivity. At nearly any time in the certification process, an assessor could have received or sought feedback to bring individual judgment in accord with program standards—whether during the field reconnaissance, in meetings after a day on-site, in preparation of findings for clients to follow an assessment, or in the writing of the final report. Second, a few assessors said that the internal program review— the oversight and administration of the certification program, by the program director— was responsible for ensuring a credible and consistent process. 4.3.5 Assuring Credibility and Consistency Summary 156 The purpose of summarizing the forest assessor perspective on how credible or consistent they felt the overall certification assessment process has been, was to provide an insider's view and not an impartial critique. The opinions were reported above to demonstrate what assessors believe based on the first five years of forest management certification in the US. Two-thirds of the assessors surveyed felt the certification program they worked for had a consistent process, while one-third of the assessors were not entirely confident that the process was repeatable. Nearly all assessors interviewed suggested at least one component of the certification system which worked towards consistency. These components had to do with program standards, the professional qualifications of the assessors, and/or program protocols. There were many assessors who said that forest assessments needed to incorporate more quantifiable and measurable criteria and indicators. At the moment, qualitative assessment was most common and certification had to accommodate the variation introduced by having different people interpreting standards. The reasons assessors offered as to why a more quantified approach had not occurred were: a. ) that for many variables there were not quantifiable measures; b. ) that there had to be a balance between the costs of doing an assessment and collecting quantified data; c. ) that the time involved to produce scientifically defensible positions on many forest conditions or the effects of management was prohibitive at this level of assessment; d. ) that quantified data was the responsibility of the manager and that for many managers the monitoring of this information was just beginning, although the certification process would evaluate improvement; 157 e.) that the standards were evolving and being refined and that as new assessment technologies came to the fore they would be integrated into the process. 158 C H A P T E R 5 5. DISCUSSION A N D CONCLUSIONS 5.1 DISCUSSION The intent of this research has been to compare the two dominant certification programs in the US, the Rainforest Alliance SmartWood Program and Scientific Certification Systems' Forest Conservation Program. Due to the lack of available information in the public domain concerning actual assessment procedures, a sub-set of specific certification criteria was chosen for comparison. As discussed, there was great variation in the types of forest operations assessed in the US by the 40 different individuals who implemented the protocols of SCS and SmartWood from November 1992 through June 1997. A survey of forest assessors was conducted using a written questionnaire and in-depth interviews. Three research questions were explored in the preceding comparison to describe how these forest assessors audited forest management standards in practice. 1. ) How do forest assessors determine that program criteria defined in written standards have been met, or likely will be met, by a client forest operation? Fundamentally, SCS and SmartWood assessors used similar approaches to evaluate forest management systems and forest conditions. Depending on the criteria under review, the forest assessment was largely an on-site comparison of actual conditions and activities with 159 those stated in planning documents. Assessors routinely read an array of planning documents, interviewed forestry personnel, visited a stratified sample of field sites, and then decided the extent to which program criteria were being satisfied. For both programs, assessment teams reached conclusions based on the collaborative judgment of the multi-disciplinary resource professionals involved. The assessors for both programs were nearly equal in qualifications, both in terms of education and work experience. Through direct observation, inquiry, and analysis of forest conditions, of expected future outcomes, of actual performance (forest functions and human processes) they used indicators to inform the decision making process. Of the 59 indicators assessors mentioned in the survey, approximately 70% were performance based and 30% were systems based. The perspectives of forest assessors demonstrated that many indicators are goal-oriented and performance based, without being highly-prescriptive. As this seems to be the case, the certification programs should ensure that their written standards reflect this goal-oriented, performance-based emphasis, and do not reflect, incorrectly, a prescriptive approach. 2.) What similarities and differences exist in the indicators used by SCS and SmartWood forest assessors to evaluate criteria, and how are those indicators measured? In the description of indicators that assessors used, the two programs agreed more than they disagreed. Assessors identified 59 indicators for the six criteria surveyed, and 51 of these were mentioned by at least one assessor from each program. (For these eight that were mentioned by one program and not the other, most were mentioned by only one or two 160 assessors and none were mentioned by more than 22% of the assessors for a program.) Of the 51 commonly stated indicators, 34 had 20% or more of the average assessor population stating that they used the indicator in a forest assessment. Then, of these 34 indicators, SCS and SmartWood assessors mentioned 27, or nearly 80%, with approximately equal frequency.13 Conversely, only 20% of these indicators were mentioned more often by one program than the other. The limitations to data collection and measurement during an assessment, similar for SCS and SmartWood, meant the assessment was a comparatively "informal" process. There were very few measurements actually made of indicator variables. However, assessors asserted that certification assessments, although science-based and employing scientists on assessment teams, were not intended to substitute for scientific research. The assessment process was simply not about testing hypotheses. Many of the indicators used to report on criteria in the assessment process did not have scientifically derived, quantifiable targets that could be tested. Therefore, evaluation of most criteria was, and will likely continue to be, informal, based on professional judgment. 3.) How do these certification programs provide assurance of credibility and consistency? The major challenge to SCS and SmartWood certification systems is to make them more consistent. Assessors felt that these programs were consistent processes, however nearly one-third had reservations about how replicable the process would be between different teams. Considering how new the endeavor of forest management auditing is, the overall opinion of 13The difference between the number of assessors stating the indicator was within 1 SCS or 2 SmartWood 161 assessors was that the process was a credible one. The systems that assessors thought made for credible forest assessments were areas that should improve over time. Program standards will become more established, and probably refined, through repetition. The qualified pool of assessors is increasing and with more assessments completed per assessor there should be standardization and greater understanding of how to conduct forest assessments. Other program protocols, from scoring to peer review to assessor training, should be improving through experience and program development. However, the subjectivity of the assessment process is probably the area of greatest concern and skepticism for anyone sincerely interested in the future of certification or for its immediate detractors. An area for improvement in these programs is to make variables under assessment more objective and more readily measurable. The responsibility of measuring variables should fall upon the forest manager. Certifier expectations of managers (of different scale operations) for monitoring, modeling, and measurement of indicator variables are not explicit in the standards. The lack of explicitly stated certification requirements for monitoring by managers could have effected consistency. Currently, deficiencies in the forest manager's monitoring of different variables, (that impact not only the robustness of the certification assessment but long term forest management,) usually came as conditions or recommendations to the certification decision. Future forest assessments will be limited by the extent of data available for associated forest resource values. assessors. 162 5.2 CONCLUSIONS Remarkable similarity was found in assessor choice of indicators for all criteria evaluated. The tendency of assessors from SCS and SmartWood was to choose the same indicators and with relatively equal frequency. Indicators that were most commonly stated for one program, and probably most important, were usually most commonly stated for the other program. There were no strong indications that either program was using a different line of reasoning and rigor in their forest assessments. It was found that assessors would ask, with similar frequency, the same basic questions regarding forest management and the criteria under assessment. These findings should provide more confidence in SCS and SmartWood certification procedures than could previously be established. At a minimum, for the five years these programs have been auditing forest management, 40 different people charged with that responsibility have been able to reach reasonably similar conclusions about the important questions to investigate. When evaluating a specific criterion, assessors often described multiple indicators, and some assessors identified many more indicators than other assessors. However, although individual assessors may have described their individual approaches, when these were aggregated, the assessment methods were very similar within a given certification program and between SCS and SmartWood. The means of evaluating standards should be flexible. This was conveyed by assessors in that even though they were able to agree on the indicators that were most important to evaluate a criterion, they still identified a multiple indicators for the criterion. The indicators applied in the field were not static, although the written standards for both programs, once 163 established, had not changed significantly. In some instances, assessors mentioned indicators that were not in the written standards. In other cases, indicators from the written protocols were not amongst those mentioned by assessors as ones used in assessments. The implication was that as forest conditions changed assessment teams altered specific criteria and indicators to fit the situation at hand. At this juncture, it would be incorrect to characterize forest assessments to be checklist processes that rigidly go by-the-book. Instead, assessors suggest that there is the need for individual professionals to use intellect and common sense to reach certification decisions. Critics of certification may view such flexibility, and personal judgment, as anathema to their perception of an infallible assessment process. However, contrary to those who may want audits to assess compliance of forest practices to a prescriptive list of appropriate and inappropriate behavior, that was not the typical case. Most assessors spoke about keeping options open, rather than using prescription-laden indicators. The overall preference of assessors was to observe performance via state-dependent forest conditions, and to let managers defend what they were doing and how well they understood forest responses to perturbation. It is worth emphasizing that assessors placed importance on getting the forest manager or owner to substantiate the basis of their knowledge and how this applied to forest management. Equally important to assessors from both programs was the exhaustive document review. The rationale for reviewing an extensive array of planning documents was to check what was said in the written word against real action in the forest. The document review allowed assessors to evaluate quantified resource data that would be unfeasible to 164 collect in a short field visit. Many assessors indicated that rather than expect assessors to make measurements in forest assessments, the certified operation should, over time, make improvements to their information base. In this sense, the initial certification assessment identified gaps, either conditions or recommendations, for the operation to fill during the time period of the certification. Before closing, it bears noting that FSC-accredited certification includes socioeconomic standards that were not part of this study. This research has shown that the evaluation of selected ecological and planning criteria involved an integrated approach using multiple indicators. What was not established was the integration of socioeconomic, political, or cultural forces within the overall assessment of forest management. The relationship between social and ecological variables made by these programs in the course of a forest assessment was not commented upon here. This should not lead the reader to assume that the evaluation was not holistic. Finally, and most importantly, these certification processes are trying to promote adaptive management, because they start a feedback loop on current management that may not have previously existed. By offering feedback to the forest owner or manager, forest assessments perform a function not handled through regulatory mechanisms. The crux of a certification exercise—to evaluate how well the forest and the forest management plan demonstrate a manager's understanding of the biophysical resource and the manager's objectives for long-term stewardship of that resource—has been realized by both of these certification programs. In their five years of development, the SCS and SmartWood certification programs created a methodology that guides forest assessors to a common and 165 critical set of questions, that were shown to share consensus amongst assessors as being logical and reasonable for the task of evaluating management of dynamic natural forest systems. 166 L I T E R A T U R E C I T E D Allan, G., and C. Skinner (Editor). 1991. Handbook for research students in the social sciences. The Falmer Press, London. American Forest and Paper Association. 1996. Sustainable Forestry Implementation Guidelines. Washington D.C. Avery, T.E., and H.E. Burkhart. 1994. Forest measurements. McGraw-Hill, Inc., New York. Babbie, E. 1990. Survey research methods. Wadsworth Publishing Company, Belmont, California. Baharuddin, H.G. 1995. Timber certification: an overview. Unasylva, 46(183): 18-24. Baharuddin, H.G., and M . Simula. 1994. Certification schemes for all timber and timber products. International Tropical Timber Organization, Cartegenas de Indias, Columbia. Barbier, E.B. 1995. Trade in timber-based forest products and the implications of the Uruguay Round. UnasylvaA 46(183): 3-10. Bass, S.M.J. 1997. The principles of certification of forest management systems and labelling of forest products. In International Conference on Cerification and Labelling of Products from Sustainably Managed Forests, May 26-31, 1996, Brisbane, Australia. Australian Government Publishing Service. Bennett, C , J. Elliot, and A. Septiani. 1997. Forest certification and ecolabelling of Indonesian forest products: prospects and policy challenges. Associates in Rural Development for Office of Rural and Environmental Management, Jakarta, Indonesia. Berg, S., and R. Olszewski. 1995. Certification and labelling: a forest industry perspective. J. For. 93(4): 30-32. Bluman, A .G. 1995. Elementary Statistics. WCB Publishers, Dubuque, Iowa. Bourke, J. 1995. International trade in forest products and the environment. Unasylva, 46(183): 11-17. Bowyer, J.L. 1994. Environmental issues and their impact on marketing planning-North American perspective. In Towards an Integrated Theory of Forest Products Marketing. H . Juslin and M . Pesonen (editors). University of Helsinki, Helsinki. 167 Bowyer, J.L. 1997. Strategies for ensuring the survival of tropical forests: can logging be one of them? For. Prod. J. 47(2): 15-24. Brady, N.C. , and R.R. Weil. 1996. The nature and properties of soils. Eleventh edition. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. Cabarle, B. 1994a. The timber trade and the search for "good wood". In Timber Certification: Implications for Tropical Forest Management, February 5-6, 1994. Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, Connecticut. Cabarle, B. 1994b. Forest management certification and the Forest Stewardship Council. In Timber Supply Canada: Challenges and Choices Conference Proceedings, November 16-18, 1994. Ottawa, Ontario. Cabarle, B. and R.A. de Freitas. 1995. Timber certification and the pursuit of credible claims. Unasyslva 46(183): 25-26. Cabarle, B., R.J. Hrubes, C. Elliott, and T.J. Synott. 1995. Certification accreditation: the need for credible claims. J. For. 93 (4): 12-16. Canadian Council of Forest Ministers. 1995. Defining sustainable forest management: a Canadian approach to criteria and indicators. C C F M , Ottawa, Ontario. Clayoquot Sound Scientific Panel. 1995. A vision and its context: global context for forest practices in Clayoquot Sound. Scientific Panel for Sustainable Forest Practices in Clayoquot Sound, Victoria, B.C. Convention on Biological Diversity. 1992. Convention on Biological Diversity. Crossley, R. 1996. A review of global forest management certification initiatives: political and institutional aspects. In Conference on Ecological, Social, and Political Issues in Certification of Forest Management, May 12-16, 1996, Putrajaya, Selangor, Malaysia. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. CSA. 1996a. CAN/CSA-Z808 a sustainable forest management system: guidance document. Canadian Standards Association, Etobicoke, Ontario. CSA. 1996b. CAN/CSA-Z809 a sustainable forest management system: specification document. Canadian Standards Association, Etobicoke, Ontario. Donovan, R.Z., and K. Heaton. 1997. Forest Assessment. In Certification of forest products: issues and perspectives. Viana, V.M. , J.Ervin, R.Z. Donovan, C. Elliot, and H . Gholz (editors). Island Press, Washington D.C. Eastin, I.L., A . Addae-Mensah, and J. de-Graft Yartey. 1995. Tropical timber boycotts: strategic implications for the Ghanain timber industry. Unasylvai 46(183): 39-44. 168 Eisen, M . , D. Hammel, B. Humphries, T. Parks, and C. Schallau, 1993. Certifying sustainable forest products: a roundtable discussion. J. For. 91(11): 33-38. Elliot, C , and A. Hackman. 1996. Current issues in forest certification: a WWF Canada discussion paper. World Wildlife Fund. Toronto, Ontario. Evans, B. 1996. Technical and scientific elements of forest management certification programs. In Conference on Ecological, Social, and Political Issues in Certification of Forest Management, May 12-16, 1996, Putrajaya, Selangor, Malaysia. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. Fallwell, K. 1996. Brussels debates certification. Timber Trades Journal, June 22, 1996: 6-8. FAO. 1992. Forest resources assessment 1990 project. FAO, Rome, Italy. FAO/ITTO. 1995. General review of the international initiatives on the formulation of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management at national level. In Expert Meeting on Harmonization of Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management, February 13-16. Rome, Italy. ForestCare. 1997. Auditor training manual. Alberta Forest Products Association. Edmonton, Alberta. Fox, R.W. 1995. Certification: pinpointing good wood. American Forests, 101(5/6): 16-17. Franklin, J.F. 1993. The fundamentals of ecosystem management with applications in the Pacific Northwest. In Defining sustainable forestry. G.H. Aplet, N . Johnson, J.T. Olson, and V.A. Sample (editors). Island Press, Covelo, California. FSC. 1995. FSC Statutes Appendix A: FSC guidelines for certifiers. Forest Stewardship Council. Oaxaca, Mexico. FSC. 1996. Forest Stewardship Council principles and criteria of forest management. Forest Stewardship Council. Oaxaca, Mexico. FSC. 1997. Fine-tuning the accreditation rule book. FSC Notes 6:10. Forest Stewardship Council. Oaxaca, Mexico. FSC. 1998. Forests certified by FSC-accredited certification bodies (January 20, 1998). Forest Stewardship Council. Oaxaca, Mexico. Hansen, E. 1997. Forest certification and its role in marketing strategy. For. Prod. J. 47(3): 16-22. 169 Hauselmann, P. 1997. Swiss watchdog network founded to monitor certification. Understory: Journal of the Certified Forest Products Council 8(1): 1,4-6. Heaton, K. 1994. Perspectives on certification from the SmartWood certification program. In Timber Certification: Implications for Tropical Forest Management, February 5-6, 1994. Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, Connecticut. Howard, A.F. and N . M . Mohamed. 1996. Synthesis of findings from the UBC-UPM Conference on Ecological, Political, and Social Issues in Forest Management Certification. In Conference on Ecological, Social, and Political Issues in Certification of Forest Management, May 12-16, 1996, Putrajaya, Selangor, Malaysia. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. Institute for Sustainable Forestry. 1994. Pacific certified ecological forest products landowner and forester handbook. Institute for Sustainable Forestry, Redway, California. Institute for Sustainable Forestry. 1996. Marketing assessment of certified sustainably harvested forest products. Institute for Sustainable Forestry, Redway, California. International Institute for Sustainable Development. 1996. Outline of international initiatives on criteria and indicators and certification. Countdown Forests 97, 2: 2-11. Jeffree, M . 1997. Progress over use of ISO 14001 in forestry worries environmentalists. Timber Trades Journal, November 29, 1997: 3. Kiekens, J.P. 1995. Timber certification: a critique. Unasylva, 46(183): 27-28. Kiekens, J.P. 1997. Certification: International trends and forestry and trade impacts. Environmental Strategies Europe, Brussels. Kimmins, J.P. 1997. Certification of sustainable forestry: will current certification initiatives deliver on their promise, or are they merely "arm-waving"? For. Chron. 73(2): 166-168. Kimmins, J.P. 1997. Forest ecology: a foundation for sustainable forest management. Prentice Hall Canada, Inc., Toronto, Ontario. Klinka, K., V.J. Krajina, A . Ceska, and A . M . Scagel. 1989. Indicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia. UBC Press, Vancouver, British Columbia. Lober, D.G., and M . Eisen. 1995. The greening of retailing: certification and the home improvement industry. J. For. 93(10): 38-41. Maini, J.S. 1993. Sustainable development of forests: a systematic approach to defining criteria, guidelines, and indicators. Seminar of CSCE Experts on Sustainable Development of Boreal and Temperate Forests. Monteal, Quebec. 170 Mater, J. 1997. Reinventing the forest industry. For. Prod. J. 47(11/12): 20-24. Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe. 1993. Resolution HI : General guidelines for the sustainable management of forests in Europe. Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, Helsinki, Finland. Montreal Process 1995. Criteria and indicators for the conservation and sustainable management of temperate and boreal forests. Working group on criteria and indicators for the conservation and sustainable management of temperate and boreal forests. Canadian Forest Service. Hull, Quebec. National Wildlife Federation/Northeast Natural Resource Center and Rainforest Alliance. 1997. Certification assessment report of the Metropolitan District Commission's Quabbin Reservoir Lands, Commonwealth of Massachusetts. June 1997. National Wildlife Federation, Montpelier, Vermont. Noss, R. 1993. Sustainable forestry or sustainable forests? In Defining sustainable forestry. G.H. Aplet, N . Johnson, J.T. Olson, and V.A. Sample (editors). Island Press, Covelo, California. Nyland, R.D. 1996. Silviculture concepts and applications. McGraw-Hill, New York. Patton, M.Q. 1990. Qualitative research and evaluation methods. Sage Publications, London. Pierce, A. , and J. Ervin. 1996. Status of certification activities worldwide. Poore, D., P. Burgess, J. Palmer, S. Rietbergen, and T. Synott. 1989. No timber without trees: sustainability in the tropical forest. Earthscan Publications Ltd., London. Prabhu, R., C.J.P. Colfer, P. Venkateswarlu, L.C. Tan, R. Soekmadi, and E. Wollenberg. 1996. Testing criteria and indicators for the sustainable management of forests: phase 1 final report. CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research), Bogor, Indonesia. Rainforest Alliance. 1993. Generic guidelines for assessing natural forest management. Rainforest Alliance, New York, N Y . Rainforest Alliance. 1995. The SmartWood network: a worldwide system of independent, non-profit organizations for forest assessments, evaluations, monitoring, and certification. Rainforest Alliance. New York, N Y . Rainforest Alliance. 1996a. Description of the SmartWood program. Rainforest Alliance, New York, N Y . Rainforest Alliance. 1996b. Confidential draft: SmartWood forest assessor manual, September 27, 1996. Rainforest Alliance SmartWood Program. New York, N Y . 171 Reisinger, T., P. Pope, and S. Hammond. 1992. Natural recovery of compacted soils in an upland hardwood forest in Indiana. Nth. J. Appl. For. 9: 138-141. Rotherham, T. 1997a. Chain of Custody In Certification Criteria and Indicators: Global Approaches to Sustainable Forest Management, September 21-26, Prince George. BC Ministry of Forests and McGregor Model Forest. Salwasser, H . , D.W. MacCleery, and T.A. Snellgrove. 1993. An ecosystem perspective on sustainable forestry and new directions for the U.S. National Forest System. In Defining sustainable forestry. G.H. Aplet, N . Johnson, J.T. Olson, and V.A. Sample (editors). Island Press, Covelo, California. Schneider, D. 1996. "Good wood: can timber certification save the rain forest?" Scientific American, (June): 36-38. Schwarzbauer, P. et al. 1998. "Sleeping markets for certified forest products in Europe. In Potential Markets for Certified Forest Products in Europe, March 13, 1998, Brussels. European Forest Institute and Universitat fur Bodenkultur. SCS 1995. The Forest Conservation Program: program description and operations manual. Scientific Certification Systems. Oakland, California. SCS n.d. Scientific Certification Systems: Harnessing the power of science and the marketplace for a more sustainable future. Scientific Certification Systems. Oakland, California. SCS 1997a. Regionalization of the Forest Conservation Program evaluation process: criteria and weights, evaluators, and peer reviewers used in the evaluation of Seven Islands Land Company, Maine. Scientific Certification Systems, Oakland, California. SCS 1997b. Final report submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. October 1997. Scientific Certification Systems, Oakland, California. Seymour, R.S., R.J. Hrubes, and D. Hammel. 1995. Certifying sustainable forestry. J. For. 93(4): 26-29. SGS Silviconsult Ltd. 1994. Tropical forest management: position paper on certification. SGS Silviconsult Ltd. Oxford, U.K. Shirley, K. 1997. Environmental management systems approach to using the ISO 14001 standard. In Global Approaches to Sustainable Forest Management International Conference, September 21-25, 1997. Prince George, British Columbia. Sigurd Olsen Environmental Institute. 1994. Lakes states regional guidelines for assessing natural forest management. Sigurd Olsen Environmental Institute. Ashland, Michigan. 172 Sigurd Olsen Environmental Institute and Rainforest Alliance. 1997. Certification assessment report of the Aitkin County (Minnesota) Land Department's management of county forest lands. July 1997. Sigurd Olsen Environmental Institute. Ashland, Michigan. Simula, M . 1996. International and institutional arrangements for certification of forest management and eco-labelling of forest products. In Conference on Ecological, Social, and Political Issues in Certification of Forest Management, May 12-16, 1996, Putrajaya, Selangor, Malaysia. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. Society of American Foresters. 1995. Forest certification: an SAF study group report. J. For. 93(4): 6-10. Society of American Foresters. 1995. Forest management certification: a report written to the SAF membership. Society of American Foresters. Bethesda, Maryland. Standards New Zealand. 1996. White paper for the second meeting of the international study group on sustainable forestry management, February 28-March 1. Standards New Zealand, Wellington. Swenarchuk, M . 1995. An environmentalist and First Nations response to the Canadian Standards Association proposed certification system for sustainable forest management. International Journal of Ecoforestry, 11(4): 123-127. Thompson, D.A. 1994. Tropical Timber: Certification and Market Realities. In Timber Certification: Implications for Tropical Forest Management, February 5-6, 1994. Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, Connecticut. Tibor, T., and I. Feldman. 1997. Implementing ISO 14000: A practical comprehensive guide to the ISO 14000 Environmental Management Standards. Chicago, Irwin. Tickell, O. 1997. What's in a label? Timber Trades Journal, May 17, 1997: 12-14. Upton, C , and S.M.J. Bass. 1995. The forest certification handbook. Earthscan Publications Ltd., London. USDA Forest Service 1996. A Report to Facilitate Discussion of Indicators of Sustainable Forest Management: A Work in Progress, USDA Forest Service. Viana, V . M . 1994. Certification of forest products as a catalyst for change in tropical forest management. In Timber Certification: Implications for Tropical Forest Management, February 5-6,1994. Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, Connecticut. 173 von Mirbach, M . 1997. No magic bullet: what certification can't do and what it shouldn't try to do. In Global Approaches to Sustainable Forest Management International Conference, September 21-25, 1997. Prince George, British Columbia. Waffle, R. 1996. IHPA: a perspective on certification. In Certification of forest products: issues and perspectives. Viana, V.M. , J.Ervin, R.Z. Donovan, C. Elliot, and H . Gholz (editors). Island Press, Washington D.C. Wenban-Smith, M.G. , T.J. Synott, and J.R. Palmer. 1997. FSC accreditation manual. Forest Stewardship Council, Oaxaca, Mexico. 174 APPENDIX I SURVEY OF CERTIFIERS OF FOREST M A N A G E M E N T (Parts I and II) 175 SURVEY OF CERTIFIERS OF FOREST M A N A G E M E N T ID Number: There are TWO parts to this survey. Part I is a written questionnaire. I would appreciate it if you could complete Part I prior to our interview. It should take 20 minutes. I will collect it from you in person at our meeting. Part II will be a taped personal interview. Enclosed are the questions that most likely I will ask you in that interview. P A R T I Your responses will be strictly confidential. Please provide us with the following background information on you and your involvement in certification. Occupation Title: Company/Organization: Which certification program have you worked for most? • CSA aSCS • SmartWood • Other: How many forest assessments have you worked on for this program? How many years have you worked professionally in natural resource management? _ _ _ _ _ years What degrees and/or professional licenses do you hold? What is your age? years Please respond to survey questions from your point of view as a professional who has assessed forest management according to the guidelines of the program you indicated above. Consider your responses within the context of certification in either the United States or Canada. It is not the intent of my study to examine this program anywhere outside of these two countries. I use the term 'forest assessment' where you might use 'forest audit' or forest evaluation'. I would like you to think of these as having the same meaning. I believe each refers to the same process of determining whether or not to certify—or register—forest management according to a standard. If you can not answer a question, for any reason, please circle the question number and we can cover this in person. 1 Please fill out this table for the most recent forest(s) you assessed for this program in the US or Canada. (List as many as applicable, up to 4) *circle acres or hectares *days to complete all field & office components of assessment YEAR of ASSESSMENT AREA Ac. or Ha. STATE /PRV. FIELD (Mays) OFFICE (Mays) YEAR of PLANNED RE-ASSESSMENT 1 2 3 4 176 From this point on in the written survey, I will ask you two types of questions: some about your opinions and some about your experiences. For those about experiences, how do you wish us to consider your views? • as though I was commenting on the most recent assessment • as though I was commenting on some typical, unspecified, assessment List region(s) here: 2 In what geographic region(s) do you consider yourself most qualified to do forest assessments? 2a] Would you do an assessment outside the region(s) where you are most qualified? • yes • no 3 Please check the assessment areas for which you had lead responsibility or a level of responsibility equal to another member of the team? (Check all that could apply) • Harvest levels - • Ecosystem • Forest planning • Stand tending • Aboriginal rights Annual Allowable maintenance Cut • Product utilization • Biological • Roads • Forest health • Worker rights & efficiency diversity • Financial viability • Soil resources •Harvesting •Wildlife • Chain of custody systems & methods • Employee rights • Water resources • Regeneration • Recreation • Writing assessment & benefits report Assessment Criteria and Indicators 4 How were the program criteria and indicators (C&I) established for use in specific forest assessment procedures? (Experts are professionals with specialized forestry knowledge) • C & I established by stakeholders from the immediate community (surrounding cities and towns) • C&I established by stakeholders from the region (state, province, or bio-geographic area) • C & I established by experts for a region and then modified with input of local stakeholders • C & I established by experts for general application and then modified with input of local stakeholders • C&I established by experts for a region with no input from local stakeholders • C&I established by experts for general application with no input from local stakeholders • C & I established by: with input from: 177 5 How much influence did y o u have in weighting the importance of program criteria and indicators for assessment? (circle from 1 to 5) 1 2 3 4 5 a lot of influence some influence no influence 6 How flexible was this program, in terms of giving you latitude to .interpret these criteria and indicators? 1 very flexible fairly flexible very inflexible Forest Management Planning 7 Which time horizon best reflects how long this program expects the forest management plan to be? • 0-9 years • 10-24 years • 25-49 years • 50-100 years • more than 100 years 8 According to this program, on average, how often should forest management plans be updated? every years 9 What were the three most important sources of data you actually used to assess a manager's forest inventory? (Rank from 1 to 3 - with 1 being the most important source * If 3 DO NOT apply, check lor 2) paper maps air photos satellite images an over-(GIS) Geographic Information Systems flight on-the-ground field visit Other: 1 What sampling methods did your team use to ground check the management of these forest resources? (Check any that apply) a timber b soils c woody debris d wildlife habitat e road network f) riparian areas simple stratified field not ground random random systematic reconnais- checked sampling sampling sampling sance • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • other (please comment): •_ • 178 Sustainable Harvest Levels of Timber 11 Which time horizon best reflects how long this program expects the annual allowable cut to be set? • 0-9 years • 10-24 • 25-49 0 50-100 years • more than • years years 100 years other: 12 In your opinion, growth and yield projections used to set harvest levels should look this far into the future • 0-9 years • 10-24 years • 25-49 0 50-100 years • more than • other: years 100 years 13 Did your evaluation team analyze projections of future timber growth and yield? • yes • no If yes, goto 14 If no, go to 15 14 What are the three most important kinds of growth and yield projections that you have analyzed? (Rank from 1 to 3 —with 1 being the most important source * If 3 DO NOT apply, check 1 or 2) forest level computer simulation models forester's explanation based on experience stand level computer ecosystem simulation models empirical yield tables stand level computer growth and yield simulation models other: stand density management diagrams Silviculture 15 Did your evaluation team review current written silviculture prescriptions? • yes • no 16 Did your evaluation team review past written silviculture prescriptions? Oyes Ono 16a] If yes, how far back in the past did you review, on average? (years) 179 17 Please rate each statement in terms of importance. (circle from 1 to 5) Very Important No Not Not at all Important Opinion important important the evaluation team inspects active harvesting operations 1 2 3 4 5 the evaluation team assesses post- 1 2 harvest stand structure 3 4 5 the forest manager defines 1 2 characteristics of acceptable leave trees 3 4 5 the forest manager plans falling 1 2 methods to protect leave trees 3 . 4 5 Course woody debris is retained after 1 2 harvest 3 4 5 Evaluation team assesses stocking 1 2 quality on areas being naturally regenerated 3 4 5 areas artificially regenerated use a mix 1 2 of species 3 4 5 evaluation team assesses planting 1 2 survival on areas being artificially regenerated 3 4 5 clearcutting is allowed as a 1 2 silvicultural option 3 4 5 clearcuts are limited in size 1 2 3 4 5 Forest Ecosystem Maintenance 18 Please indicate your level of agreement or disagreement with this statement: (circle from 1 to 5) "As a prerequisite to certification, the forest manager should be using an ecological site classification system." 1 strongly agree 2 agree 3 no opinion 4 disagree 5 strongly disagree 180 19 At what level (stand or landscape) was the assessment of water emphasized? (check one box per row) mostly at the stand mostly at the equally at not For this water concern (a-e), level landscape level both levels assessed assessment was emphasized... a.) storage • • • • b.) flow • • • • c.) Sediment load • • • • d.) temperature • • • • e.) Aquatic biota • • • • 20 At what level (stand or landscape) was the assessment of soil emphasized? (check one box per row) mostly at the mostly at the equally at For this soil concern (a-e), assessment was stand level landscape level both levels not emphasized... assessed a.) compaction • • • • b.) erosion • • • • c.) slope stability • • • • d.) organic matter • • • • e.) soil chemistry • • • • 21 At what level (genetic, species, or ecosystem) were you able to measure indicators of biological diversity? (check one box per row) At this level (a-c), we were able to measure in some in most in all indicators of biological diversity... not at all instances instances instances a.) Genetic level • • • • b.) Species level • • • • c.) Ecosystem level • • • • (circle from 1 to 5) 22 How well do you think the program that you know best can address sustainability of forest ecosystems? 1 2 3 4 5 very well fairly well poorly 23 Please indicate your level of agreement or disagreement with this statement: (circle from 1 to 5) "In my home state or province, complete compliance with government forestry regulations should be sufficient for a forest manager to meet this program's standards." 1 strongly 2 agree 3 no opinion 4 disagree 5 strongly agree disagree THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME IN COMPLETING THIS PART.' Would you like us to send you a summary of the results? • yes • no 181 Part II These are the questions that most likely I will ask you during our in-person interview. t. Forest Management Planning 1.1 Can you describe your method to validate the accuracy of an inventory for the particular forest resource in which you have the most expertise? (For example: soil, water, timber, wildlife, recreation, aesthetics, botanical crops, Aboriginal use, etc.) 1.2 For this particular forest resource, what information would you want to be confident with the manager's long-term projection of future availability of the resource? 1.3 How do you know that a forest management plan is being followed in the forest? And will continued to be followed? 2. Sustainable Harvest Levels for Forest Products 2.1 Could you describe your system to check that the harvest level will result in a long-run sustained yield? 2.2 What two difficulties do you face when assessing the impacts of the current or planned timber harvest levels on a non-timber resource? (For example: soil, water, wildlife, recreation, aesthetics, botanical crops, Aboriginal use, etc.) 3. Silviculture 3.1 Are there any silvicultural systems you would consider unacceptable in certain situations and if so, could you provide an example of the system(s) and the situation(s)? 3.2 Is your assessment of harvesting methods guided by the degree to which timber harvesting emulates natural disturbance? 3.3 What technique would you use to assess whether or not selection cutting was leading to high-grading? 3.4 What two methods would you use to determine that the forest manager's planned regeneration strategy would conserve ecosystem diversity? 4. Forest Ecosystem Maintenance 4.1 What two methods have you found most useful to assess whether or not site quality was declining, or may decline, in managed stands in the forest? 4.2 How would you determine that a sufficient area of the forest is managed on rotations or cutting cycles that are long enough for ecosystems to recover ? 182 4.3 How do you assess that forest management will maintain the quality of riparian areas? 4.4 What data have you used to deteimine whether or not the forest was becoming fragmented? 5. Conservation 5.1 How does this program determine that a forest manager's objectives for the conservation of plant or animal species are sufficient? 5.2 Who has been responsible for identifying and monitoring the presence of threatened, rare, endemic, or endangered plant or animal species? 6. Public Participation 6.1 What process did you use to select and interview individuals from the local community regarding their opinions of the forest manager's policies and activities? How long should it take to get this information? 6.2 What were two measures that gave you indication that a forest manager's involvement of the public in decision-making was sufficient? 7. Program 7.1 What is it about this program that would permit another forestry professional, equally qualified as yourself, to reach the same conclusions as you? 7.2 Can you give an example of a situation where the program criteria really exceeded some existing government forestry regulations and you said to yourself, "O.K., this is why we need certification"? 7.3 What immediate benefits do you think the forest managers and employees received from going through the assessment process and meeting the standards of this program? 183 APPENDIX II C H R O N O L O G Y OF FOREST ASSESSMENTS & ASSESSMENT TEAMS INCLUDED IN THIS STUDY: 184 > ft Q P o P <-+ B. P p P o c o P P rt> P * W P _ I— • J3 o •t n> fD i-t w <-+ o o o o_ o * CfP ft> >1 CO o OP cro . P 00 CO xt o h- > P P r 1 CD P P -> >T3 SO 3 p CfP 3 IT) P o o 3 CO a &-P " ft ^ P * P o n P _ P T fD i-t CO 3 B P SO P P fD K P i-l a-o o O -Vl B p n P O P n> fD •-i »-». c r E L W P n >-i T3 n vi P SO 4^ CD CD CD P % B > VI O o P . o p t-1 c o n CO a . 3 P 3 o _ Cf<? 8 8 a £ O C O fD C5S. i-t vi fD fD P 3 r fD fD o cr fD CO fD CO p -c r fD fD P p g § ^ 2= o 0 1 fD • 8 2-c o o •* : CfP ~ 5" o B_ Bf* B •1 fD cr 2 8 | 2 ° 3 2-S c T M CTP 8 rt P o CO O CO + CO •-t |-t o £ S ?" o p a 5T | * » » i 3 Hp P P fD cr a • (T> rt HH - w q o fD p j 2 " & _ W K H o n> fD § « 3 ° 2- M 3 c T a 5 'crp p rt o ST* <-f fD c o IX i-H b O ^ P o X cr P 2 "> 3 W be) P - p I i O O -£ ? - n> t d > c CfP CP CO f* < fD P P P p P P CfP a 3 fD P n o CO n CO CO B •* 8 ff 3 ^ -n 3 o ° S Ht J 1 a » 2 fD O >1 "I fD O < sO h o n o p P fD n o 3 B c o n CO X o fD "-i fD fD n P 3 •i . . . P ° i-( fD a- <r o o l-l l-l fD j C f P 1 4 GO _ fD O i 3 fD u J i O i-i i-t fD r-1 IX o CfP CfP v> c T CfP P VI CfP -CO *Tl T> o fD ?^ O 8- ^ /Ti 55 k—4 r\ "r-1 r p fD P CfP w o O P o 3 P fD P r 1 fD P O -fD •1^ vi fD P f - 1 CD P O -fD" fD VI w o o p o -3 fD p 3 r-1 fD P O -fD •^1 o 3 P o fD 1^  CD n i-t p r* i^» O P n 1-1 o p o i-t VI n VI Vi O i-t VI 2 z o > o o o c < < rt CJQ NQ NO NO NO ON ON ON ON n cr NO ON 2 o < NO o NO o NO C/5 > rt- c « a 3 * ft CO c "1 !-!-> n fo J* O S" > CO C/> O o O •n a> n> </> Tl o a •-I t-1 O -!=r n & n o o o-C/i > cr cr g: 3 Jtf ft-ft , , 3 p. o o r-1 O ST rt " 3 o 13 OP n n> r 13 c r ro n o 3 T3 I-I n> GO cr n> *V . tr n> i-t o o td C3 o O s o n> 3 8 cr 3 * 5" w o 5" CTQ • o CO c rt B. cr GO GO CO CO co n co co CO CO 8» r 1 50 2 ! c 3 ^ O O > re •-i CO r 1 o nn CTQ 3 3" rt GO 3- 3 (3 3 o o . . !3 D . ft C/S P o CO 3 ST* <"f . 1 , B B sO ^1 13 B (3 B-rt ro n> co n> rtT o P 3 13 CO D O •1 'I 3 > o c r !3 rt fD D ™ o O B " i CTQ fD r^j p O B J fD B3 o fD w n O en h- -rt on 8 u. 3 "> o hrl ""f rt ^ 5? n 2 rt o a O £ § 3 B <T> rt O -rD o !3 r P B P 13 ft) rt o rt fD ft) B a o rt n O B o 5* o n> on sO o o B B n o 3 3 o B CO 3 2 -fD rt pr w P B n oh P ->r o , , rt P CO B O p o cro fD o 3 cT B e> W o O B O 3 o 3 On rt fD •"I O £ o f7* 3 3 B R «—i £ £> | 5 « B * K' p cro ^fl ^ fD O O « rt rt rt (I ft on P rt SO J * 2 8 B • g B 3 « rt ri rt Si « ° P D fD P rt 3 fD B 2 rt (3 rt B-co h> o  o  1] tE t—i on on w o O 5 <jt> tn P o s- p. •e 3 o o B O O on rt r r -3. S? * i O rt • - i rt P •* R* ^ r o •rj fD O S o o_ cT fD cr so rt o fD co 3 on rt fD i-t 3 w CO rt 3 ^ £• ° S * ° - P-cT b era cro. co ft  ST a ? D D > > • • a B fD X w O P 5-fD C U y> O " t * ~ fD on O B P B SO ^1 fD c 3 cr fD sO fD B B < P B W B |-t fD s o •-t fD CO co n CO o o H S T fD 9 s 8 ^ fD P 3 r fD P r x fD rt^ fD P t-1 fD P Ou fD ^ rt £L P on' 3 r 1 ( D P & • n> o fD w n O B O m B <! rt« rt O B 3 fD B 3 cr. c B on 3 o o rt fD on rt fD rt, cr co B. co on O fD B fD P 3 r - 1 fD fD O 0 0 s -ST rt 2 B ^ -J* B Ln -T* & 3 O HH BK E o rt " 3 ^ " g o ' s s i : J3 < cn rt- rt fD on t-t rt rt 3 3 fD P P -fD t>5 > r t on P oj 2,2 O 3 o CD rt fD CD rt P r t rt» O B o P9 n CD rt P o >-t fD (A on fD on on O rt on 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0075391/manifest

Comment

Related Items