Plum Creek Timber Company this week announced that all of its West Virginia lands have been recertified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative\u00ae (SFI) following an intensive review by independent auditors.\r\n\u201cCertifications like SFI are important in our industry as they promote and enforce best management practices and help ensure a vigorous, sustainable forest products industry,\u201d said Scott Henker, general manager for Plum Creek\u2019s Northern Hardwood Region. \u201cPlum Creek is committed to running our business in this manner every day, but being recognized by SFI recertification for doing so is a great honor.\u201d\r\nPlum Creek, which has been operating in West Virginia since 2001, was the first company to have all of its lands nationwide achieve SFI certification. The SFI standard is updated every five years so it can continue to reflect the latest science and input and Plum Creek undergoes recertification on a rotating basis by region every three years. The independent audit of Plum Creek\u2019s land in West Virginia, approximately 111,000 acres, was conducted in August 2013 and the results were just announced.\r\n\u201cThis is a significant accomplishment for our dedicated team in West Virginia,\u201d said Henker. \u201cThis audit intensely examines our forest management practices, and we are proud that our commitment to the environment and the health of our forestlands was recognized once again.\u201d\r\nThe SFI forest management standard is the single largest sustainable forest certification standard in the world with nearly 200 million acres of certified lands across North America. An independent audit is required for all SFI certifications. These audits are rigorous, on-the-ground assessments of an organization\u2019s operations conducted by highly qualified and accredited third-party auditors.\r\nPlum Creek\u2019s audit report specifically commended the company for its robust forest management program, which was recognized by the auditor as one of the best; its proactive and strong wildlife management program and its employment of wildlife biologists; its active support of research, including its own strong wildlife and silviculture research efforts; and, its continued involvement with and commitment to the local community.\r\n\u201cPlum Creek is committed to protecting West Virginia\u2019s environment, and we demonstrate that commitment in how we approach our business,\u201d said Henker. \u201cRecertification through SFI shows that we can practice environmental responsibility while meeting the public\u2019s need for wood and paper products.\u201d\r\nThe SFI standard is a comprehensive system of principles, values, performance measures and indicators developed by professional foresters, conservations and scientists. The SFI 2010-2014 Standard is based on 14 core principles that address economic, environmental, cultural and legal issues, in addition to a commitment to continuously improve sustainable forest management. For more information on SFI, visit www.sfiprogram.org.