Last month, SLS posted version 3 of the High Conservation Value Forest Report on its company website. The latest version updates are focused on High Conservation Value Forest Category 4, “Forest Areas that Provide Basic Services of Nature in Critical situations”. The HCFV approach for assessing and managing forests was developed by the World Wildlife Fund and is a requirement of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), sustainable forestry certification program. This report was open for public comment for three years. Version 2 of the report, was updated in 2013, which included updates based on stakeholder and public consultation.
The company has been voluntarily working on obtaining FSC certification since 2010. SLS was awarded FSC certification in 2013 by the Rain Forest Alliance and is the only sawmill in Alberta with FSC accreditation. The FSC requires that the HCVF report be peer reviewed by a credible outside source. In March of 2014, Applied Aquatic Research independent reviewers, Kate Sinclair, Ph.D. Senior Hydrologist and Tom Boag, Senior Fish biologist completed the Category 4 peer review. This report has also been posted on the company website.