NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — All of Tennessee’s 15 state forests are now certified to comply with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s forest management standards, according to a Monday news release from the Agriculture Department’s Division of Forestry.
The certification includes a third-party audit for forestry management practices. It assures that forests are managed sustainably, which is essential for clean water, wildlife habitat, and market access, according to the release. Tennessee state forests cover more than 168,000 acres.
The certification “means we are following a strict set of requirements and rules that ensure our land and resources are managed responsibly and sustainably,” Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher said in a news release. “Certification is a key tool in helping our forests remain healthy and productive for generations to come.”