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SFI Investment In Forest Research Strengthens Conservation

Nonprofit group supports sustainable forestry

WASHINGTON and OTTAWA, Ontario, Jan. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of its ongoing efforts toward continuous improvement in sustainable forestry, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) opened its 2014 Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program.  SFI will invest in conservation research projects and collaborative partnerships that explain or inform the role of sustainable forest management in Carbon and Bioenergy; Forest Health; Water; Capacity Building; and Wildlife, Fish and Biodiversity.

"As a proof point for responsible forestry and future forests, the SFI Program is the only forest certification standard in North America that requires participants to support and engage in research activities to improve forest health, productivity and sustainable management of forest resources. The SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant program fosters research and pilot efforts to better inform future decisions about our forests," said Kathy Abusow, President & CEO of SFI Inc.

SFI announced it will deliver up to $300,000 for forest conservation research projects,  bringing total 2014 investments to over $400,000 with previously awarded multi-year research grants. Since 2010, SFI has awarded 40 grants for a total of over $1.65 million that promote sustainable forestry practices and engage communities. Together with project partner contributions, these projects represent leveraged investments of over $5 million

SFI's 2014 investment includes ongoing multi-year research grant commitments for projects awarded to groups like Tk'emlups te Secwepemec First Nations to improve knowledge transfer to younger generations seeking to identify culturally significant sites, and to the American Bird Conservancy to showcase the value of habitat improvements, including thinning, understory management, and the creation of snags for bird conservation within the context of meeting economic and forest health goals.

In addition to the conservation research grants, SFI will award five to seven community grants in amounts up to $5,000 each to support youth education in forestry; green building; and advancing management and awareness of culturally important land.  Past community grants have supported the National Network of Forest Practitioners to conduct workshops for underserved landowners in Mississippi and Alabama and support for visiting foresters at the Philmont Scout Ranch, where 5,000 scouts were given the opportunity to learn about the conservation benefits that forests provide.

"The selected projects will yield results that reach far beyond the test sites, benefitting conservation efforts across a range of working forests", said Paul Trianosky, SFI's Senior Director of Conservation Partnerships. 

The complete 2014 RFP and the latest information about the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant program are posted at http://www.sfiprogram.org/community-conservation/conservation-community-partnerships-grant-program/.  The deadline for this year's grant applications is Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. ET.

About SFI Inc. 
SFI Inc. is an independent, nonprofit organization that is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) program. Across the United States and Canada, more than 240 million acres/more than 100 million hectares are certified to the SFI forest management standard. In addition, the SFI program's unique fiber sourcing requirements promote responsible forest management on all suppliers' lands. SFI chain-of-custody (COC) certification tracks the percentage of fiber from certified forests, certified sourcing and post-consumer recycled content. SFI on-product labels identify both certified sourcing and COC claims to help consumers make responsible purchasing decisions. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally. Learn more at http://www.sfiprogram.org/ and http://sfiprogram.org/Buy-SFI/.

SOURCE Sustainable Forestry Initiative

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