Back to
 
  MSUE Resource Library
  Newspaper Article Index
  Forest Information Main Page
  MSAF Home Page


SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY EDUCATION
Article #31, January 2000
By Bill Cook

     Anything worth doing is worth knowing more about.  In this particular case, Iím thinking about Michigan logging.  Our loggers are among the best training and most knowledgeable to be found anywhere.  Yet, continuing education is something they are committed to. 

     For several years, loggers and other folks have been attending Sustainable Forestry Education (SFE) sessions across the Upper Peninsula and Michigan.  SFE is offered through Michigan State University Extension and funded through the larger Sustainable Forestry Initiative.  This Initiative is a rock-solid commitment on behalf of our forest industries to practice sustainable forestry . . . and make themselves accountable in the public eye.  Itís a learning process, not necessarily an end place.  I canít think of any group more interested in maintaining healthy forests for the long term than loggers, foresters, and the forest industry.  Itís their livelihood!

     The SFE began with sessions in forest ecology, best management practices, silviculture (growing trees), and safety.  A field day demonstrates many of the classroom concepts and ideas.  SFE has expanded into other areas, such as wildlife management, logging truck safety, and visual management.  Over 1400 individuals have completed the SFE training, representing more than 700 companies interested in the Upper Peninsulaís forest resources.   Private forest owners are beginning to attend these sessions.

     Loggers are committed to maintaining a high standard of professionalism.  In 1998, a group called the Michigan Professional Loggers Council was formed.  Membership requires adherence to quality logging practices and reported violations are investigated.  Furthermore, many wood-using industries have demanded their wood suppliers complete the SFE training.  There are other continuing education opportunities that loggers attend, too.  All these efforts raise the standards of what is already considered good forest practices.  And that is good for everybody.

     Why mention all this?  Well, the forest industry is utilizing our forest resources.  We all have a vested interest in their doing a quality job.  A healthy forest is key to our lifestyles and economy.  After all, the ďU.P.Ē wouldnít be what it is without high quality forests. 

     The Sustainable Forest Initiative is a national program that the Michigan forest industry has bought into.  Itís expensive.  Itís a commitment.  It has accountability.  Itís ongoing.  If youíre interested in participating in the SFE program, contact the Dickinson County Extension office at 906-774-7723 or 906-774-0363.  You can also find the SFE schedule on the Michigan Society of American Foresters website at http://forestry.msu.edu/msaf

-  30  -

Trailer
Bill Cook is an MSU Extension forester providing educational programming for the entire Upper Peninsula. His office is located at the MSU Upper Peninsula Tree Improvement Center near Escanaba. The Center is the headquarters for three MSU Forestry properties in the U.P., with a combined area of about 8,000 acres. He can be reached at cookwi@msu.edu or 906-786-1575.


Prepared by Bill Cook, Forester/Biologist, Michigan State University Extension, 6005 J Road, Escanaba, MI  49829
906-786-1575 (voice),  906-786-9370 (fax),  e-mail:  cookwi@msu.edu

Use / reprinting of these articles is encouraged. Please notify Bill Cook.
By-line should read "Bill Cook, MSU Extension" Please use the article trailer whenever possible.

Michigan State University is an affirmative action equal opportunity institution.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital status or family status.   (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)



This website is maintained by Bill Cook, Michigan State University Extension Forest in the Upper Peninsula.  Comments, questions, and suggestions are gratefully accepted. 
Last update of this page was 22 September, 2005


 

 

 

This site is hosted by School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science at Michigan Technological University.

Michigan Tech