On April 14, 2009, 15 industry and consultant foresters underwent American Tree Farm Inspector Training. This training provides the background needed to inspect and re-inspect Kentucky forested land which can then be certified in the American Tree Farm System (ATFS). All Tree Farm inspectors volunteer their time to work with and inspect Kentucky Tree Farm lands. Training was held at Domtar Paper Company, LLC-Hawesville, KY. The training facilitator was Pam Snyder, Forest Management Chief, Kentucky Division of Forestry. The training was sponsored by the Kentucky SIC (Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee).
In August, 2008, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) endorsed the American Tree Farm System. As a result of this endorsement Kentucky tree farms are now third party certified, and are recognized by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) as meeting the standards to qualify tree farms to provide SFI certified wood. The ATFS supports recognized requirements that assure sustainably managed forests. The mission of ATFS is to promote the growing of renewable forest resources on private lands while protecting environmental benefits and increasing public understanding of all benefits of productive forestry.
The ATFS is sponsored nationally by the American Forest Foundation, a 501c3 non profit organization promoting the sustainable management of forests through education and outreach to private forest landowners. Kentucky currently has 801 certified tree farms covering 270,729 acres. Kentucky’s Tree Farms are dedicated to producing wood products, maintaining wildlife habitat, improving water quality, and providing outdoor recreational opportunities. To be eligible for tree farm certification, a landowner must have a minimum of 10 forested acres, have a commitment to practice sustainable, long-term forest management , and demonstrate proactive forest management involvement.
To obtain more information on Kentucky’s Tree Farm Program, contact the Kentucky Division of Forestry at 502-564-4496, or any of the newly trained ATFS inspectors, or visit www.treefarmsystem.org or www.kytreefarm.org.