After four years and nearly $8 million in investments , these questions are increasingly front and center for those of us working on Blandin Foundation’s VFVC Initiative.
In service to the Initiative’s objectives and to the Foundation’s commitment to sharing our learning, we are launching this new VFVC Blog. We hope this tool will help us all advance our shared commitment to promoting the connections between a healthy forest-based economy, healthy forest ecosystems and healthy communities.
One on-going focus of the Initiative is to encourage sustainable forestry, including by increasing the amount of forested land being managed under third-party certification programs.
As part of this work, the Foundation has provided financial and operational support to six northern Minnesota counties – Becker, Beltrami, Carlton, Clearwater, Crow Wing and Koochiching – to cooperatively undertake the process of preparing themselves for certification.
One of the study’s key findings is that the participating county land commissioners believe that “certification is the present and future of forest management.” Vital Forests/Vital Communities is eager to continue to be a resource for county and other certification efforts in our state, and we welcome your input as we figure out the best opportunities to do so.
As we at Blandin contemplate the “So What?” question and deliberate on what to do next, we invite your comments and feedback.