• seneca creek

K: U.S. hardwood producers ensure that both forest ecosystem health and productivity are maintained

Key points 

  • Forest Health, productivity and ecosystem services are maintained over the long term. 

  • Fires, pests and diseases are appropriately monitored and managed. 

  • Unauthorized and illegal logging, mining and other site disturbing activities are prevented. 

Key facts 

  • FIA data indicate that hardwood inventories are increasing over the long term, with some yearly fluctuations. 

  • Hardwood inventories have increased over consistently over the past five decades, with almost all hardwood producing states showing stable or increasing inventory volumes. 

  • U.S. national and state forest resource assessments and strategic plans are among the most comprehensive and geographic-specific assessments conducted in the world. 

  • A comprehensive forest health program at the Federal and State levels focuses on protecting the forests from fires, pests and diseases. 

  • The hardwood industry supported legislation (e.g., Lacey Act) that addresses illegal logging and associated trade. 

  • Illegal trespass, timber theft, forest arson and illegal encroachment on private lands is addressed through state and local law enforcement. Violators are prosecuted. 


Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment: Section 3: The U.S. hardwood sector has not been specifically targeted by environmental campaigns and the FIA data show favourable sustainability conditions overall regarding US hardwood supply. 

Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment: Section 4: Based on the most current data available from four independent federal agencies tasked with monitoring of the nation’s natural resources, we can conclude that bottomland hardwood forests have been stable or increasing in areal extent in the past decade. 

Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment: Section 7: In the United States, federal environmental legislation contributes to sustainable forestry practices throughout the hardwood region. All forest owners in the United States are subject to a myriad of federal, state and local laws, regulations and ordinances affecting the manner in which forestry is practiced. Federal laws impose severe penalties on violators.  

Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment: Section 8: The available data suggest that states in the hardwood region are diligent about enforcing regulations where they apply, proactive in encouraging and monitoring BMPs, and attentive to identifying and acting on priority forestry issues. The wide acceptance and implementation of BMPs contribute to the Study Team's finding that there is a very low to negligible risk that forestry activities adversely affect water quality and associated beneficial uses. 

Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment, Section 13.3: The various approaches generally enable producers that depend for their wood supply on private, and particularly family-owned, forests to provide buyers with additional confidence that sustainability objectives are integrated into their wood supply. Case studies: Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment, Section 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18. 

Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment Finding 1: The preponderance of evidence compiled for this update strongly indicates that there is very low or "negligible" risk that U.S. hardwood exports contain wood from illegal and unsustainable sources, based upon programs and requirements currently in place. 

Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment Finding 6: The data indicate that non-payment of tax liabilities in the United States is the exception rather than the rule. 

Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment Finding 20: A safety-net of federal and state laws and regulations, resource assessments and forest and wildlife action plans, Best Management Practices (BMPs), professional logger training, forest health monitoring and protection, conservation programs, technical assistance, outreach and cost-share incentive programs, are effective in assisting family forest owners in achieving legal and regulatory compliance, broadening the professionalism of forest workers and promoting sustainable forestry practices. Overall, federal and state forest programs contribute to ensuring sustainable and legal hardwood supplies. [Sections 8, 9]   

Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment Finding 23: There are extant protections, conservation programs, BMP monitoring, and public and private sustainable forestry programs in each hardwood state that address HCV and forest conversion issues. Depending upon the decision criteria used in the final FSC-US-NRA, these various landscape scale initiatives may contribute to viable control measures under the FSC Controlled Wood standard. [Section 11] 

Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment Finding 25: Four case studies of Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Survey Units that are among the highest hardwood sawtimber producing areas in the United States highlight and substantiate that the forest land base is stable, forest inventories are increasing, BMP programs are highly effective, a large number of loggers have received sustainable forestry training and State Forest and Wildlife Action Plans are in place to address state-specific sustainability challenges. Among the common challenges identified in state forest assessments are the threat of conversion of forests to development and combating forest health risks, including invasive insects and disease. [Sections 14, 15, 16, 17, 18] 

Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment Finding 26: Every state has regulatory, quasi-regulatory and non-regulatory authorities and programs addressing different aspects of forest land management. All BMP programs are reported by the National Association of State Foresters (NASF) as being equally effective, regardless of their regulatory / voluntary approach and emphasis. [Section 8] 

Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment Finding 27: Comprehensive state level BMP monitoring evidences a high level of compliance with both regulatory and voluntary Best Management Practices (BMPs) to protect water quality and other beneficial uses of the nation's streams, lakes, waterbodies and wetlands. Virtually all states conduct periodic BMP compliance monitoring that show very high levels of acceptance and compliance by landowners and timber operators. Where forestland is certified, the forest certification standards (FSC/PEFC/SFI/ATFS) require the use of BMPs, even where they are voluntary. [Section 8] 

Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment Finding 29: Every hardwood-producing state has a logger training and/or independent certification program. These programs have contributed to substantial increases in the levels of logger training and professionalism. [Sections 8, 10, 11] 

Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment Finding 30: Pursuant to the 2010 amendments to the U.S. Food Security Act (Farm Bill), each state in the hardwood region has conducted a state-wide forest resource assessment and developed action plans to address forest sustainability challenges. The action plans provide for coordinated implementation of conservation efforts by both the public and private sectors. [Section 8] 

Seneca Creek 2017 Assessment Finding 31: Each state has developed a Wildlife Action Plan to conserve and protect habitat and wildlife species and to keep species of concern from becoming threatened. These Action Plans facilitate coordination between agencies, conservation organizations, landowners and the forest industry for species recovery and habitat protection. [Section 8]