Since 2012, Macmillan Publishers US – along with Time Inc., the National Geographic Society, and Pearson – has been a part of the SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) Forest Partners® Program. The program works to involve stakeholders across the supply-chain with the goal of certifying 10 million acres of forest in the South East U.S.  to the SFI standard by 2017.

Macmillan’s preference is to use certified paper for our books; however, the demand is greater than the supply.  By supporting projects like Forest Partners, we not only increase the opportunity to use certified paper but we support proper forest management in the United States.

In late March, Macmillan Sustainability observed a SFI live forest audit in Florida’s Tate’s Hell State Forest to see just how effective the Forest Partners Program is.  We were able to see how a properly managed forest incorporates thinning (selective logging), controlled burns, conservation and restoration of native species to create a healthier forest.  The pictures below show a few of the Florida Forest Service’s efforts for properly managing their forests.

Thinning forest


Thinning:  (left) Loggers remove four rows of trees and leave two rows in order to “thin” the forest. Thinning this slash pine forest will help improve the health and growth rate of the remaining trees by reducing the competition of resources (e.g.: water, nutrients, sun).  Forest thinning also opens up the tree canopy so more sunlight can reach the ground and allow new slash pine trees to grow in the cut trees place.   The wood harvested in the picture will be used for paper pulp, chipboard, and lumber.


Post Burn


Controlled Burn: (right) The Florida Forest Service recently set fire to this forest under-story to reduce the shrubs that can grow out of control and suppress water and nutrients available for the trees.  It also reduces the flammable material (shrubs and leaf litter)–helping the forest to better protect itself against uncontrolled natural fires. These controlled burns happen about every three years.  New growth reappears within months of the fire, as seen in the picture.


LLP new seedlings


Restoration:  (left) This section of the forest is being converted back to its native tree species, the longleaf pine.  The Forest Service harvested the non-native timber, set a controlled burn to the area, and then they hand plant the longleaf pine seedlings.  In 20-30 years, this forest will be large enough for thinning.