FSC Certified Lumber at MTE
Indigenous knowledge handed down for generations has guided MTE’s sustained-yield forest management for the last 150 years and predates sustainability ideas and environmental caution resource managers discuss today.
In sustaining the traditions, MTE is fully committed to the principles of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), the FSC standards and policies, and gaining certification for forest management and chain of custody. Furthermore, MTE explicitly agrees currently and in the future not to be directly or indirectly involved in the following unacceptable activities:
- Illegal logging or the trade in illegal wood or forest products
- Violation of traditional and human rights in forestry operations
- Destruction of high conservation values in forestry operations
- Significant conversion of forests to plantations or non-forest use
- Introduction of genetically modified organisms in forestry operations
Read our Assessment of High Conservation Value Areas on the Menominee Indian Reservation (PDF) for further detail..
MTE stands for responsible forestry and lumber harvesting – Contact us today!
FSC-Certified Wood and SFI-Certified Wood: What’s the Difference?
Shopping for wood countertops, cabinets, or doors? FSC and SFI are the two green certifications you need to know.
Responsible Forest Management
- Protecting fragile ecosystems
- Respecting native cultures and economies
- Preventing illegal logging
- Restricting clear-cutting (removing all trees in a tract) and pesticide use
- Monitoring the “chain of custody,” or ensuring that the wood in the product you’re looking at really came from the forest that was certified.
Where to Find Certified Wood
Ask your retailer or cabinet maker up front about their certified wood options, and whether any are ready made. You can also use FSC online products database to select a retailer that carries certified wood.
Is certified wood more expensive?
The frustrating answer is maybe yes, depending on efficiencies in the supply chain, or maybe no, such as if FSC-certified suppliers, for instance, are competing with wood that’s been harvested irresponsibly. FSC recommends you do comparison shopping among local suppliers and online.
Forest Stewardship Council = The Gold Standard
FSC is widely considered the best forestry certification program, although industry groups tend to consider it too strict—and environmentalists, too lax. The nonprofit was started by environmental groups in 1993.
Most agree FSC is a stronger certification than SFI, although to what extent is debatable, as both have downsides. FSC has very specific criteria for what constitutes responsible forest management, placing a big emphasis on environmental health. FSC certification is tougher than SFI in several categories, including how much clear-cutting is allowed and how much chemical pesticide can be used.
Downside of FSC: Because it’s harder to achieve, it’s harder to find in the store. But it’s worth the extra effort, because consumer demand can help it spread to a broader audience. Just allow yourself some extra time to locate products, says Building Green, a company that educates building professionals on green certifications.
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Less Rigorous
SFI has its roots in the logging industry, as an outgrowth of the American Forest and Paper Association, from which it still receives funding despite the fact that it’s now a separate nonprofit. Because it takes money directly from the industry it polices, and because its certification process isn’t as transparent as FSC’s, you could reasonably doubt whose interests come first.
Still, SFI has toughened its standards over the years, including prohibiting logging of old-growth forests and limiting chemical pesticides. BuildingGreen deems it an acceptable solution when you can’t find FSC products.
Caveat About Green Certifications for Wood Products
Forestry certifications aren’t the final word on wood. Consider whether the whole package—everything that makes up those cabinets—is really green:
- The distance it has to be shipped to reach you
Alternative idea: Salvaging existing wood or buying products with a large amount of recycled content may be just as green a choice.
Producers and Manufactures of Quality sustainable Forest Products since 1908. Current emphasis is being placed on a value-added concept designed to enhance the continuing success of M.T.E. on behalf of all tribal members. MTE is owned and operated by the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin through a twelve (12) member Board of Directors elected from the members at large. MTE employs approximately three hundred (300) individuals throughout its vast operation. The mill alone employs about one hundred-sixty160-200 in the peak season.
As the business arm of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin—being owned, controlled and managed by the members of the Menominee Community—MTE in many ways embodies the culture, values and spirituality of the Menominee:
"It is said of the Menominee that the sacredness of the land is their very body,
the values of the culture are their very soul, the water is their very blood. It
is obvious, then, that the forest and its living creatures can be viewed as food
for their existence." (Marshall Pecore MTE Forest Manager)