The initial pilot program is targeted at WWOA-member woodland owners in the Central Sands Chapter, which includes: Wood, Portage, Waushara, Adams, Juneau and Marquette counties. To date, 42 landowners owning more than 6,000 acres of forest have committed to the program.
According to Brian Kozlowski, director of Sustainable Development at NewPage, "This groundbreaking project reflects a shared commitment to forest stewardship. At the same time it helps increase the availability of locally certified wood to support the growing demand from our customers, including L.L.Bean, seeking paper sourced from certified timberlands."
In 2011, 48 percent of the fiber purchased by NewPage came from certified sources. NewPage is the largest buyer of pulpwood in the Great Lake States. This program is designed to increase the level of certification and provide forest management resources to WWOA members.
Certification has a number of benefits for woodland owners, according to Gordy Mouw, NewPage Certification and Resource manager. "For owners who intend to sell portions of their timber, certification gives them access to important wood markets. In addition, certification provides a guarantee that their woodlands will be managed sustainably," Mouw said.
Certification is also of value to woodland owners who have dedicated their properties for recreation and hunting. It provides assurance that they are doing everything possible to manage their natural resources and financial investments for future generations.
According to Bill Horvath, member and coordinator of the project for WWOA, "This project helps bring together our members to foster and encourage wise use and management of Wisconsin's woodland for timber production, wildlife habitat and recreation. We hope to use this project as a model to further advance certification of small private landowners in Wisconsin."
"The L.L.Bean catalog has been and continues to be an important marketing tool for L.L.Bean and is a significant means for customers to view our products," said Doug Darby, Marketing manager for L.L.Bean. "Since many of our customers work and recreate in the same forests from which the fiber for our catalogs originates, we want to ensure these forests are being sustainably managed. Certification is one of the tools that provide this assurance. We look forward to increasing the participation in this project," said Darby.
About NewPage Corporation
NewPage is the leading producer of printing and specialty papers in North America with $3.5 billion in net sales for the year ended December 31, 2011. NewPage is headquartered in Miamisburg, Ohio, and owns paper mills in Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. These mills have a total annual production capacity of approximately 3.5 million tons of paper.
The company's product portfolio is the broadest in North America and includes coated, specialty, supercalendered and uncoated papers. These papers are used in commercial printing to create corporate collateral, magazines, catalogs, books, coupons, inserts and direct mail as well as in specialty paper applications including beverage bottle labels, food and medical packaging, pressure-sensitive labels and release liners.