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Does Forest Certification Matter? An Analysis of Operation-Level Changes
Required During the SmartWood Certification Process in the United States
Deanna Newsom1, Volker Bahn2 and Benjamin Cashore3 Paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Forest Policy and Economics
9 May 2005
1 TREES Program Associate
65 Millet Street, Suite 201
2 PhD Candidate
Department of Wildlife Ecology
University of Maine
5755 Nutting Hall, Room 210
Orono, ME 04469 USA
3 Associate Professor
School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
230 Prospect Street, Room 206
New Haven, CT 06511 USA
Deanna Newsom is corresponding author.
One controversial and contested issue concerning forest certification is whether
this market-based instrument actually requires participating forestry operations to follow
more sustainable practices. While previous paper studies have explored and compared the
standards used by different certification systems, our research sheds additional light on
this question by systematically assessing documented conditions and pre-conditions that
forest companies seeking FSC certification in the United States were required to address
in order to obtain, or maintain, their certificates. We examined the changes that 80
SmartWood-certified forestry operations were required to make to forest management,
ecological, social, and procedural elements of their forestry practices as a requirement of
the certification process. We found that systems elements such as Management Plans,
Monitoring and Inventory most frequently required change (by 94%, 79% and 71% of
certified operations, respectively), followed by ecological elements such as High
Conservation Value Forests and Woody Debris, Snags and Legacy Trees (by 71% and
63% of operations, respectively). We also found regional differences in the number of
changes operations are required to make during certification, and find that operations
located in states with mandatory Best Management Practices (BMPs) are required to
make fewer changes during the certification process than those in states where BMPs are
voluntary. We found that small and large operations were given roughly the same number
and type of conditions and preconditions. Overall the results show that even the early
adopters of certification were required to make important changes as a result of the
Forest certification, forest policy, forest management, SmartWood, Forest Stewardship
One important question for forest certification systems is whether they are
effective in promoting effective solutions to persistent and pressing environmental policy
problems. Does forest certification lead to changes in “on-the-ground” forest
management that reduce potentially negative impacts of forestry operations on species
habitat, riparian zones, and other values? Or does forest certification simply legitimize
the status quo? This paper examines these questions by analyzing the “conditions” and
“preconditions” that a leading Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) auditor, the SmartWood
program of the Rainforest Alliance, placed on those companies and land owners seeking
forest certification in the United States.
We present our analysis in three steps. First, we discuss the challenges involved in
assessing the impacts of certification. Second, we review our research design and
methodology. Third, we discuss the results and implications for the effectiveness of forest
certification in promoting sustainable forestry.
Challenges for Analyzing an Ever Changing Environment
Any analysis of on-the-ground impacts of forest certification is challenging for
two reasons. First, there are number of different certification standards. Within the United
States alone, the FSC, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), The American Tree Farm
System (ATFS) and Green Tag differ in terms of standards content and the certification
process. And perhaps most importantly, nuances among standards change over time, as
they incorporate new information or, sometimes, compete with each other for legitimacy
in the marketplace (Cashore et al. 2004). Second, everything else being equal, the most
progressive firms are most likely the first ones to pursue certification (Hayward and
Vertinsky 1999). This means that the operations whose practices could most be improved
by certification may be the least likely to join.
Given these caveats, however, our analysis is important because if certification is
indeed dealing with the most progressive forestry operations, then we would expect the
impact of forest certification to be even greater in the future than what our current results
show. That is, a reasonable hypothesis is that any changes found in this analysis are a
conservative estimate of what changes might occur in the long run, if the FSC or
equivalent certification systems were to gain greater support from forest owners.
Previous attempts to assess the potential effects of certification or the relative
merits of different programs have been hindered by a lack of on-the-ground information
and/or small sample sizes. Some studies have analyzed one or more program’s standards,
often involving a “checklist” (CEPI 2001) (Meridian Institute 2001) (FERN 2004) but
these projects have not determined if and how those standards are applied to individual
operations. Also, the binary nature of yes/no categories sometimes fails to capture the
Other projects aimed at assessing the effects of certification are based on
informative but small sample case studies (Cubbage et al. 2003, Cashore et al.
Forthcoming 2005). Research projects have examined the effects of certification in
countries as diverse as Bolivia, Honduras and Mexico (Markopoulos 2003), and
Indonesia, Russia and Brazil (Richards 2004). By their very nature, however, these case
studies explore the depth of certification in a few regions but do not answer broader
questions about certification’s cumulative effects over larger areas.
In this paper we assess certification’s impacts by examining the changes that the
SmartWood program of the Rainforest Alliance, an FSC-accredited certifier, has required
of those US forestry operations seeking certification. We also determine whether certain
of forestry operations are required to make changes to their forest practices as a
result of the certification process more often than others. Specifically, we determine
whether the changes associated with certification accrue differently among small and
large ownerships, ownerships located in different US FSC standards regions, and
ownerships located in states where Forestry Best Management Practices are voluntary
Our focus on only the FSC has strengths and weaknesses. While we are unable to
compare or contrast the changes required during FSC certification with those required
under other certification systems, we are able to focus on some important questions
within the FSC. Moreover, as a program with a diverse membership and support base, we
are able to assess the ability of this system to address many of the issues, albeit in the
short term, that its supporters hoped it would. The fact that most other certification
programs do not make their operation-level assessment results publicly available, and that
they often use a simple pass/fail approach to assessments, also make the FSC a good
Most importantly, while our operation-specific approach to understanding change
is more time-consuming and complex than a checklist approach, and less extensive than a
case study, it is important for three reasons. First, it uses empirical data from actual
certified operations, allowing us to create a picture of what is happening on-the-ground.
Second, with governments in some countries actually reducing regulatory requirements
for certified operations (Quevedo Forthcoming 2005), there is a need to better understand
how certification intersects with existing regulatory structures. In this project we look
specifically at the relationship between certification and Forestry Best Management
Practices. Third, while this analysis applies only to FSC-certified operations audited by
SmartWood, it sets the stage for a future comparative assessment of different certification
Objectives and Methods
We examined the changes that SmartWood forest certification assessors required
each certified operation in the US to make as a precondition or condition of becoming
certified. A precondition is a change that must be made before a certificate is granted,
while a condition is a change that must be made within a given time period after the
certificate is granted, usually one or two years. Guidance given to SmartWood assessors
in the SmartWood Assessment Manual outlines that preconditions and conditions should
both be reserved for serious infractions that, if not corrected, will result in suspension or
termination of the certificate. For example, the manual says that “Preconditions are issued
where major, fundamental weakness is documented in the operation,” and that
“Conditions relate to significant shortcomings in an operation that, if not met on the
agreed upon timetable, will result in suspension or termination of certification”
(SmartWood 2003). Less significant shortcomings are addressed in non-binding
recommendations, which were not included in this analysis.
In total, we examined 44 preconditions and 1076 conditions, coming from 80
forestry operations. Chi-squared tests revealed that preconditions and conditions did not
differ significantly in terms of the thematic areas they addressed, which prompted us to
lump preconditions and conditions together in the analyses. For the seven operations that
had undergone a 5-year reassessment at the time of analysis, we included the
preconditions and conditions from both assessments. Preconditions and conditions are
both referred to as “conditions” hereafter for simplicity.
Once conditions are written into an assessment report, FSC auditors conduct
annual audits to ensure that conditions are met in the field within the required timeframe.
By including in our analysis only those 80 forestry operations in the U.S. that had
“active” SmartWood certificates as of October 1, 2003, we eliminated all operations that
had not passed their annual audits, were suspended for non-compliance or voluntarily
withdrew from certification. Each operation’s conditions are listed in its public summary
report, available on the Rainforest Alliance web site.
For our analysis, each condition was read and categorized according to a
predetermined set of 34 “thematic areas”. Thematic areas are listed in Table 1, and are
grouped for convenience into the categories of Forest Management Activities, Forest
Ecology Elements, Social and Economic Elements, and Systems Elements. Because FSC
certification in the US is done using a number of different regional standards (or generic
standards before regional standards are finalized), it was not feasible to designate
thematic areas that corresponded to specific FSC criteria and indicators. The final list of
thematic areas was created by the authors in consultation with certification assessors and
other experts, with the goal of covering all forestry topics that could potentially be
affected during an assessment. In our analysis, an operation was deemed to have made a
change in a given thematic area if it was given at least one condition relating to that area.
Table 1. Forest and forestry elements examined for each condition.
Non-threatened wildlife Worker wages and
Once we identified which thematic areas were addressed in each condition, we
looked for relationships between the characteristics of the forestry operations and the
changes they were required to make. The explanatory variables we chose to examine
included operation size, FSC standards region, and the presence of voluntary or
mandatory state-level forestry Best Management Practices. Operation size (in hectares)
was thought to have potential explanatory power due to the conventional wisdom that
landowners with smaller holdings tend to have fewer resources to devote to key forestry
systems elements such as monitoring and inventories, and a lower ability to undertake
SmartWood-certified forestry operations fell into the following US FSC
Standards Regions: Appalachia, Northeast, Lake States, Pacific Coast, and Southeast.
Because the FSC delineated these standards regions primarily on ecological and forest
cover type boundaries (Ervin and Pierce 1996) we felt that this variable would most
easily allow us to explore the degree to which the changes required during certification
Finally, we examined whether forestry operations located in states with
mandatory Forestry Best Management Practices were required to make different changes
than those operations located in states with voluntary forestry Best Management
Practices. Because operations in states with mandatory BMPs are required to comply
with state-level standards regarding water quality and roads while operations in states
with voluntary BMPs often face no legal requirements beyond compliance with the Clean
Air and Clean Water Acts, we suspected that operations located in states with voluntary
BMPs would have conditions that required them to address thematic areas involving
water, riparian areas and roads more often than those in states with mandatory BMPs.
We tested each of the three explanatory variables individually against the 34
binary dependent variables. For each of the 34 thematic areas, the binary dependent
variable was the presence or absence of at least one condition. Of the three explanatory
variables, operation size was continuous, while FSC standards region and voluntary or
mandatory BMPs were categorical, requiring different statistical tests. For each thematic
area, we used a t-test when comparing the size of operations with and without conditions.
We used an analysis of variance to compare the average size of certified operations in
different regions. In both analyses, size was log transformed to approximate a normal
distribution. We used Fisher’s exact test (with Bonferroni-corrected pairwise
comparisons) when testing FSC standard region and voluntary or mandatory BMP
against our dependent variables. Fisher’s exact test is more accurate than a Chi square
approximation (Zar 1996). Multiple logistic regressions (Neter et al. 1990) or
classification trees (Breiman 1984) would have been preferable for modeling several
explanatory variables simultaneously but their results were not robust due to our sample
In addition, we used the number of conditions given to each operation and the
number of thematic areas addressed by each operation as dependent variables. We used
general linear models with a poisson link to regress these two dependent variables on the
three independent variables described above. Count data generally follows a poisson
rather than a normal distribution (Zar 1996). The general linear model with poisson link
is the equivalent statistical technique for count data to a regular regression for normally
All statistical tests were performed with the statistical package SPlus 6.1 and the
additional libraries MASS, Hmisc, and Design. The probability of a type I error was set at
The project has the following limitations. We did not consult audit reports to
confirm that the conditions in the original assessment reports were actually met in the
timeframe given by the assessors. However, given that the FSC requires annual audits,
and that we included in the analysis only those operations that had passed their previous
annual audit (i.e., had an “active” status, not “suspended” or “terminated”), the chances
of including a condition in the analysis that was not met on-the-ground are relatively low.
Also, there are certain inherent weaknesses in the classification system we
developed for this analysis. Subtle differences in the wording of conditions sometimes
made assigning thematic areas difficult. However, we attempted to minimize this
problem by conducting a “calibration” exercise beforehand, in which four people with
extensive FSC certification experience assigned thematic areas to the same set of
conditions and compared results, discussing any differences. One of these four
individuals (and an author of this paper) performed the classification of all conditions
Another weakness of the classifications system is that the precise wording of
similar-sounding conditions often had potentially different on-the-ground repercussions
for their respective forestry operations. For example, the two conditions “Increase
riparian buffer zone width to 30 meters” and “Implement a process for determining the
appropriate riparian buffer zone width” would have both been assigned to the thematic
area “Aquatic and Riparian Areas.” However, in reality these two conditions may lead to
very different buffer zone widths, depending on the outcome of the process required in
the second condition. Therefore, we emphasize that the results of this analysis represent
broad trends and not a definitive treatment of certification’s specific impacts.
Our analysis assumes that it is important to distinguish procedural criteria whose
effect on on-the-ground forest management is indirect, such as management planning
documents and monitoring programs, from more direct criteria relating to actual forest
management practices. Recognition of this distinction is not to argue that one approach is
necessarily better than the other, but that they do have different effects on policy choices.
One debate among industry and environmental groups is whether criteria should
be general and relatively abstract, or concrete and requiring immediate on-the-ground
action. Scholarly work seems to indicate that in the public policy realm, non-
discretionary substantive standards gain the greatest degree of compliance (Tripp 1994,
Sharma 1998, Sharma and Vredenburg 1998), but could restrict proactive firm-level
greening efforts by “straight-jacketing” operations (Porter and van der Linde 1995,
Zietsma and Vertinsky 1999-2001, Cashore et al. 2001). SmartWood assessors strive to
avoid that straight-jacket by focusing “on the end or product desired, not the means of
getting there or the exact shape that the outcome should take” (SmartWood 2003).
Results and Discussion
SmartWood certified operations in the US were given, on average, 0.5
preconditions and 13.9 conditions during their initial certification assessment. The seven
operations that had completed their 5-year reassessment at the time of analysis received
an average of 0.4 preconditions during the reassessment, and 6.4 conditions. The fewest
conditions given to any operation we examined was two, and the highest was 44. On
average, operations were required to address 14 of the 34 thematic areas we examined.
In the US, certified operations are required to make changes to the systems
elements of their operations most frequently1 (Figure 1). These include Management
Plans (94% of operations required to make improvements), Monitoring (79%), Inventory
(71%) and Mapping (69%). Prominent ecological issues were also addressed by a high
number of operations, with 71% of operations requiring improvements in the thematic
area Sensitive Sites and High Conservation Value Forests, and 63% in the areas of
Threatened and Endangered Species, and Woody Debris, Snags and Legacy Trees.
Conditions addressing social issues, such as Special Cultural Sites and Worker Safety,
were generally given to fewer operations (35% and 30%, respectively), with no
operations given conditions in the thematic area Worker Wages and Living Conditions.
1 Operations were deemed to have made a change in a given thematic area if they were given one or more conditions relating to that area.
Sensitive sites and high conservation value forests
Communication a nd conflict resolution w ith stakeholders, neighbors and communities
Set-asides, reserves and representative ecosystems
Compliance w ith state, federal and international law s (including state BMPs)
Figure 1. Percentage of SmartWood certified forestry operations given at least one condition, shown for each thematic area examine
The finding that certified operations in the US are required to improve ecological
and systems elements much more frequently than social elements is consistent with the
hypothesis put forth by some observers that forest certification standards in northern
countries tend to focus more on ecological issues, while those of southern countries tend
to focus on economic and social aspects (Ros-Tonen 2004). Also, northern countries tend
to have more resources to devote to monitoring and other systems elements (ibid). Future
research based on the conditions given to operations in the SmartWood international
portfolio will explore whether these hemispheric hypotheses hold true.
The FSC standards region in which an operation is located significantly affected
the number of thematic areas the operation is required to address and the number of
conditions given during the certification assessment. Figure 2 shows that the Southeast
and Appalachia regions were given the most conditions and were required to address the
highest number of thematic areas, while the Pacific Coast and Northeast regions were
given the fewest conditions and required to address the fewest thematic areas, with the
Lake States falling in between. Pairwise tests revealed that the difference in number of
thematic areas addressed by the Pacific Coast and Appalachian regions was statistically
significant, as was the difference between the Northeast and Appalachian regions.
Broadly, Figure 2 shows that operations in the Southeast and Appalachian regions were
required to make the most changes during certification.
Figure 2. For five FSC Standards Regions, the average number of conditions given and
average number of thematic areas addressed by SmartWood certified operations during
their certification assessment.
There are a number of possible explanations for these differences. The results
may mean that operations pursuing certification in the Pacific Coast and Northeast are
already practicing forestry closer to the FSC bar than other regions and therefore were
given fewer conditions and required to address fewer thematic areas. There is some
evidence for this as research reveals that states in the Pacific Northwest and east are more
regulated than those in the south (Ellefson et al. 1995, Ellefson et al. 1997a, Ellefson et
al. 1997b, Cashore and McDermott 2004). Alternatively, differences in the number of
conditions given may reflect regional differences in assessment teams’ approaches to
writing conditions; some assessors prefer to write a small number of conditions that each
encompasses multiple themes, while others prefer to write many conditions that each
deals with a single theme. The fact that many of the operations certified in the FSC’s
early years were certified to interim or generic standards means that we cannot draw
conclusions about differences in standards’ “stringency” from this analysis. In short, our
results cannot be interpreted as meaning that the Appalachian and Southeast regions have
Many insights into the regional changes brought about by certification are gained
through the examination of individual thematic areas. For 16 of our 34 thematic areas,
Fisher’s exact tests revealed significant regional differences in the percentage of
operations given at least one condition. Table 2 shows these percentages and highlights
the individual pairs of regions that were significantly different.2 For example, the table
shows that 90 percent of operations in the Pacific Coast were required to address the
thematic area Wood Debris, Snags and Legacy Trees, versus 83 percent of operations in
Appalachia, 42 percent in the Northeast, 40 percent in the Lake States, and 38 percent in
the Southeast. Testing individual pairs of regions showed that the percentage of
operations making changes in the Pacific Coast is significantly different from the
percentage making changes in the Northeast and Lake States.
2 Note that all thematic areas included in Table 2 showed significant differences among regions overall, even if no specific pairs of regions were significantly different.
Table 2. Percentage of SmartWood certified operations with at least one condition in a
given thematic area. Operations are grouped by FSC standards region. Table includes only
those thematic areas that showed significant differences among regions (p<0.05). Additional
pairwise tests identified pairs of regions that were significantly different.
--------------------------------------- % ---------------------------------------
Sensitive sites and high conservation value
endangered species Communication and conflict resolution with
stakeholders, neighbors and communities Exotic species and pests
ecosystems Compliance with state, federal and international
laws (including state BMPs) Special cultural sites
* Pair of regions with significant difference. ^ Pair of regions with significant difference.
Many of the differences observed in Table 2 may reflect the fact that operations
located within the same standards region often share roughly similar ecological and forest
cover characteristics, and a common sociopolitical context. For example, the Pacific
Coast region is known ecologically for its relatively large remaining areas of old growth
forests on public lands, large timber volumes and high natural volumes of downed wood,
and also for a history of conflict over forest use on both private and public forest lands.
These ecological and historical realities are reflected in the types of changes that
operations in the Pacific Coast are required to make, and may help explain why a
relatively high percent of operations there were given conditions requiring them to
address Woody Debris, Snags and Legacy Trees. Yet, the Pacific Coast region contains
the lowest percentage of companies required to make improvements to the thematic area
Communication and Conflict Resolution with Stakeholders, Neighbors and Communities
(27%), suggesting that the operations working in the Pacific Coast were, for the most
part, practicing a higher degree of communication and conflict resolution than elsewhere
in the country, possibly due to state-level requirements put in place after the contentious
forest battles of the 1990s (Cashore 1999).
For many of the thematic areas shown in Table 2, however, differences existed
among standards regions that did not have obvious explanations. It is unclear, for
example, why such a low percentage of operations in the Lake States were required to
address the thematic area Set-asides, Reserves and Representative Ecosystems compared
to other regions, or why such a high percentage of operations in the Southeast were
required to address Worker Safety. The low number of SmartWood certified operations
in some FSC standards regions – notably, Appalachia with 6 certified operations, the
Southeast with 8 operations, and the Lake States with 10 operations – must be kept in
mind when comparisons among standards regions are made.
Operation size did not affect the number of conditions given to forestry operations
nor the number of thematic areas that operations were required to address. There was a
significant difference in the average size of SmartWood-certified operations among
standards regions: the average operation size was 16,761 ha in Appalachia, 42,105 ha in
the Lake States, 23,935 ha in the Northeast, 12,568 ha in the Pacific Coast, and 45,814 ha
The FSC Principles and Criteria explicitly direct certification assessors to
consider the “scale and intensity” of forestry operations when determining whether they
are in compliance with the FSC standards (Forest Stewardship Council 2001). An
examination of specific thematic areas revealed that some types of changes were required
more frequently by large operations, perhaps due to efforts of auditors to consider scale
and intensity. Forestry operations given conditions relating to the thematic areas a) Set-
Asides, Reserves, and Representative Ecosystems, b) Sensitive Sites and High
Conservation Value Forests, c) Worker Training and d) Communication and Conflict
Resolution with Stakeholders, Neighbors and Communities were significantly larger than
those that were given no conditions in those areas.
Relationship between certification and BMPs
Forestry operations located in states with voluntary Forestry Best Management
Practices received significantly more conditions than operations in states with mandatory
BMPs, and were required to address significantly more thematic areas.
When we examined specific thematic areas, we found that, for approximately
one-third of our 34 thematic areas, significant differences existed between operations in
states with mandatory BMPs and those with voluntary ones (Table 3). In all but one of
the thematic areas with significant differences, operations in states with voluntary BMPs
were more likely to receive conditions than those in states with mandatory BMPs. Woody
Debris, Snags and Legacy Trees was the one thematic area for which operations in states
with mandatory BMPs were more likely to be given conditions than operations in states
with voluntary BMPs. This finding may be partially explained by the presence of both
mandatory BMPs and high natural levels of downed wood in the Pacific Coast region.
Table 3. For each thematic area, the percentage of SmartWood-certified operations given at
least one condition. Table includes only those thematic areas for which a significant
difference was found between states with mandatory and voluntary BMPs (p<0.05).
------------------------- % -------------------------
Sensitive sites and high conservation value
Communication and conflict resolution with
stakeholders, neighbors and communities Non-timber forest products
Compliance with state, federal and international
laws (including state BMPs) Clearcut use and size
Operations in states with voluntary BMPs were given conditions requiring them
to address Compliance with State, Federal and International Laws (including state BMPs)
more often than those operations located where BMPs are mandatory. A condition related
to this thematic area does not necessarily mean that an operation is in non-compliance
with laws or BMPs – it may simply require operations to increase awareness of relevant
laws among staff members. Nonetheless, this finding implies that the presence of
voluntary state BMPs is associated with a lower level of familiarity with state, federal
and international regulation, including BMPs.
However, whether BMPs were voluntary or mandatory did not affect the
percentage of operations required to address the thematic areas that are central to most
state BMPs: Soil and Erosion, Aquatic and Riparian Areas, and Roads and Skid Trails.
This finding was counterintuitive, since one would expect that operations in states with
voluntary BMPs would fare worse in these thematic areas than those in states where
BMPs are mandatory. One possible explanation for this finding is that the presence of
voluntary BMPs is enough to ensure that forestry operations do an adequate job
addressing water quality and road issues (i.e. issues addressed directly in BMPs), but that
forestry norms for other aspects of sustainable forestry in states with voluntary BMPs are
different from those with mandatory BMPs. Or, another explanation might involve the
wide range of BMP monitoring approaches taken by states; this variation may make
mandatory BMPs in some states de facto voluntary. Clearly more research needs to be
undertaken so that we can better assess the intersection of these different policy
instruments (Gunningham et al. 1998) in addressing environmental impacts.
The finding that certified operations were required to address an average of 14
different thematic areas as a condition of achieving and maintaining certification –
ranging from forest management elements such as Chemical Use to social elements such
as Special Cultural Sites - is a strong indicator that certification helps prompt forestry
operations to make important changes in their forest practices. Systems elements such as
Management Plan, Monitoring and Inventory were the most commonly addressed
thematic areas, followed by ecological elements such as Sensitive Sites and High
Conservation Value Forests, and Woody Debris, Snags and Legacy Trees. Future
research should now examine the effects of these changes in addressing deterioration of
forest ecosystems, structures and associated biodiversity challenges, as well as assessing
whether similar impacts occur in tropical forest operations.
The higher degree of change seen in SmartWood-certified operations located in
the Southeast and Appalachian FSC standards regions means that the relative benefits of
certification to communities and forest ecosystems in those landscapes is especially high.
More research is needed to assess the evidence that the type of change expected of
operations during the certification process is related to regionally specific ecological and
historical issues. For instance, it appeared that the presence of an issue that was especially
relevant to one FSC standards region in particular (such as Woody Debris in the Pacific
Coast), figured into the assessors’ conditions at a higher frequency in that region than in
other regions. Interestingly, operation size had very little effect on the number and type of
conditions that operations were given during the certification process.
More work also has to be done on the impacts of forest certification in states with
voluntary or mandatory BMPs. While our research found that operations located in states
with mandatory (versus voluntary) Forestry Best Management Practices were required to
make fewer changes during certification, operations in both types of states were required
to make roughly the same number of changes in the water- and road-related areas we
Our empirical analysis of FSC-certified operations provides practical evidence
that forest certification does have quantifiable on-the-ground impacts, assuming all
conditions are implemented. This research is an improvement over subjective estimates
of impacts or “check-mark” approaches. There is considerable room for evaluation of
impacts on forest practices for other programs, such as SFI and PEFC, but this is likely to
be more difficult given the conformance/nonconformance approach these systems usually
employ and the lack of readily accessible public data for individual forest certification
The authors would like to thank the Doris Duke Charitable Trust, the Surdna
Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Yale Program on Forest Certification for
financial support. Dave Bubser, Walter Smith, Richard Donovan, Daphne Hewitt,
Rebecca Butterfield, John Gunn and Tensie Whelan of the Rainforest Alliance, Stacy
Brown of the National Wildlife Federation, and Emily Noah of the Yale Program on
Forest Certification gave useful feedback on earlier versions of the paper. The authors
would also like to thank Sarah Davidson for research assistance.
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Alternative Therapies - Nancy Melberg Holekamp There have been other therapies for choroidal neovascularization, so whathappened to those or what are we going to see in the future. Yes there arealternatives for treating our patients with exudative age-related maculardegeneration. You might remember the old days when all we had was laser andwe had no other choice, but we actually have some c