The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) is internationally recognized by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), the world’s largest forest-certification system. Certified Landowners who follow the PEFC and Tree Farm Standards are recognized around the world as ambassadors for voluntary sustainable forest stewardship.
The Tree Farm Standards were developed by an independent standards review panel in a multi-year long process. The panel was comprised of a wide range of stakeholders with an expertise and interest in sustainable forestry and certification. The panel solicited input from the public, conducted webinars and public meetings to engage scientists, forestland owners, and other stakeholders in the development of the Standards. Hundreds of comments were collected through public discussions and written submissions.
The 2015-2020 Tree Farm Standards includes:
Standard 1: Commitment to Practicing Sustainable Forestry.
Landowner demonstrates commitment to forest health and sustainability by developing a forest management plan and implementing sustainable practices.
Standard 2: Compliance with Laws.
Forest-management activities comply with all relevant federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and ordinances.
Standard 3: Reforestation and Afforestation.
Landowner completes timely restocking of desired species of trees on harvested sites and non-stocked areas where tree growing is consistent with land-use practices and the landowner’s objectives.
Standard 4: Air, Water, and Soil Protection.
Forest-management practices maintain or enhance the environment and ecosystems, including air, water, soil, and site quality.
Standard 5: Fish, Wildlife, Biodiversity, and Forest Health.
Forest-management activities contribute to the conservation of biodiversity.
Standard 6: Forest Aesthetics.
Forest-management activities recognize the value of forest aesthetics.
Standard 7: Protect Special Sites.
Special sites are managed in ways that recognize their unique historical, archaeological, cultural, geological, biological, or ecological characteristics.
Standard 8: Forest Product Harvests and Other Activities.
Forest product harvests and other management activities are conducted in accordance with the landowner’s objectives and consider other forest values.