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Can a forestry company hold a forest certification and spray herbicides?

Category: Herbicide Operations

Yes. About 33% of Canada’s productive forest lands are certified under one or more systems including Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI), Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), all of which recognize the important role that herbicides play in an integrated vegetation management program.

There are several certification systems for forest management that are designed to ensure that the certified forests are managed sustainably, using accepted “best practices”. These include the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI), Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) (http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/forests/canada/sustainable-...). About one third of Canada’s working forests are certified under at least one of these systems. Certification is designed to ensure the effective and efficient regeneration of both conifer and hardwood species. All three systems recognize the legitimate use of herbicides, including glyphosate-based herbicides, within an integrated vegetation management program aimed at meeting regeneration and sustainability requirements. It is true that systems such as SFI and FSC seek to reduce over-reliance on herbicides and require forest managers to show evidence of seeking or using non-chemical alternatives as well as other approaches in an attempt to reduce herbicide use over the longer term.