The audit known as a “Forest Management Certification Re-Assessment” is conducted every 5 years and addresses all ten Principles within the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Standard. Over this period the EOMF Forest Certification Program will undergo at least 4 annual surveillance audits to ensure continued compliance with the Standard. The audit took place between November 27th and December 1st on several community forest, private forest and commercial forest properties throughout eastern and southern Ontario. The audit, conducted by Rainforest Alliance, evaluated the EOMF’s systems and performance against the FCS® forest management standards and policies.
"We are very pleased to be issued a forest management certificate for another 5-year period. This is a clear indication of the good work the forest managers, within our Forest Certification Program, are doing to ensure their forests are well managed now and into the future", said Jim Hendry, Coordinator of the Forest Certification Program for the EOMF. "The EOMF is looking forward to working with all the forest managers over the next 5 years to strengthen and grow our commitment to sustainable forest management throughout Ontario".
Four Community Forests, seven private forest owners and one commercial forest owner participated in the re-assessment. The list of community forests included: United Counties of Prescott and Russell (Larose Forest), South Nation Conservation, Grey Sauble Conservation, and Bruce County.
The auditor also noted the good relationship many stakeholders maintain with forest managers and their attention to forest ecosystems' health, best management practices and wildlife habitat, to name a few, while providing economic benefits to the local community.
The EOMF - Forest Certification Program achieved FSC® certification (FSC® C018800) in 2002. The Program extends across eastern and southern Ontario and includes private and commercial forest owners, community forests, and independent forest managers totalling more than 82,000 hectares. The FSC® is an international, membership-based, non-profit organization that supports environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests. The EOMF is a not-for-profit, charitable organization. It works with government, landowners, industry, First Nations, non-government organizations and others to sustain and manage private forest resources.