Certification of the DNR's forest lands verifies that sustainable forest management is being practiced by the DNR. Sustainable forest management as defined by SFI is "To meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs by practicing a land stewardship ethic that integrates reforestation and the managing, growing, nurturing, and harvesting of trees for useful products with the conservation of soil, air and water quality, biological diversity, wildlife and aquatic habitat, recreation, and aesthetics."
Completion of the third party audit and annual surveillance audits will improve the DNR's forest management practices and efficiency, protect Minnesota's water resources, expand markets for forest products, document professional forest management by DNR personnel, and enhance wildlife, fish, and native plant communities.
Additionally, a clear message has been sent by major forest products companies and consumers that Minnesota must certify its forests to help maintain the competitiveness of the state's forest industry in the face of global competition and markets that are increasingly demanding assurance that wood products come from sustainably managed forests. Certification will help ensure strong markets for state-owned timber, thereby maintaining our ability to effectively manage our forests and also maintaining the economic vitality of many of our forest dependent rural communities.