Maine Governor Paul LePage has decreed that equal recognition be given to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard (SFI), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), American Tree Farm System, and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification systems when incorporating green building standards into any new or expanded state buildings.
In a news release announcing the executive order, Gov. LePage said he hoped to protect and expand forestry jobs in the state of Maine. “By requiring state building projects to use ‘green’ materials under more certification programs, we are increasing the amount of Maine-produced wood available for public construction projects. This will have positive benefits for Maine wood products producers and our forest industry workers,” LePage said.
Commissioner Bill Beardsley of the Maine Department of Conservation noted: “[This order] will create an even playing field among the diverse forest certification groups both nationally and internationally. It means that the local community college will be able to build using the certified-wood products from the local sawmill.”
More than 7 million acres are certified to the SFI standard in Maine, according to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.