Verso Paper Corp. today announced that it has selected Dirigo Timberlands to receive a Verso Forest Certification Grant. Dirigo is a forest management company that provides forest management planning, road construction and timber harvesting services to a range of forest ownerships throughout the state of Maine. The grant will enable the company to pursue group certification of its client landowners to the Forest Stewardship CouncilTM(FSC®) Family Forest Standard which, in turn, will allow Dirigo to increase the amount of FSC-certified pulpwood it supplies to Verso's two paper mills in Maine.
Dirigo's primary focus is on long-term, sustainable forest management for small and medium sized land ownerships. With five licensed professional foresters and two registered forest technicians, the company has the required expertise to pursue a Resource Manager Group Certification Program to enroll landowners in FSC's group certification program. Dirigo achieved "Well Managed Group Forest Certification" effective August 20, 2013 (License Code FSC®-C117893).
"Verso has a long history of promoting third-party forest certification within our wood supply chain," said Verso Fiber Supply Manager Jim Contino. "We launched the Verso Forest Certification Grant Program last year to help increase the amount of certified fiber available to our mills. Dirigo's project is well suited to our criteria, and our existing wood supplier relationship with them will be even stronger as a result of this partnership."
"It's refreshing to see a large mill customer like Verso willing to support efforts to increase the number of small landowners enrolled in certification systems," said Dirigo Timberlands President Blaine Miller. "We believe increasing the amount of certified wood products from small landowners is the next step in keeping Maine's mills competitive and keeping our forest products economy healthy, thus benefitting us all."
Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Verso Paper Corp. is a leading North American producer of coated papers, including coated groundwood and coated freesheet, and specialty products. Verso's paper products are used primarily in media and marketing applications, including magazines, catalogs and commercial printing applications such as high-end advertising brochures, annual reports and direct-mail advertising.