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Potlatch Joins State in Sustainable Forest Effort

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Press release from the issuing company

January 23, 2008 - MADISON, Wis. - Healthy forests are critical to Northern Wisconsin's major industries - forest products and tourism. The importance of forests to Wisconsin has led the state to become a leader in third-party certification of publicly owned forest lands. Now, 76,000 acres of Wisconsin forests owned by Potlatch Corporation have also been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for responsible management that will benefit Wisconsin's environment and economy.

Wisconsin received certification of its state forests from FSC in 2004. County forests were certified in 2005. The example set by the state and counties has now been followed by Potlatch Corporation.

"Wisconsin is proud to be a leader in third-party certification of our publicly-owned forests," said Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle. "The certification of 76,000 acres of Potlatch land demonstrates public-private cooperation at its best. By working toward the same goals, we are improving Wisconsin environmentally and economically."

The FSC certification of the Potlatch forests included extensive planning and commitments to environmental protection and conservation that are some of the most stringent in the country as well as on the ground inspection of lands and operations. The certification will be followed up annually to ensure continued compliance.

"With the addition of these Wisconsin lands to their FSC certification, Potlatch has bolstered their commitment to embracing responsible stewardship," said Dave Bubser, USA Manager for the Rainforest Alliance's SmartWood program, which conducted the certification assessment. "By integrating the FSC standards into their core operating systems, Potlatch is well positioned to establish themselves as a national leader in responsible forestry."

Corey Brinkema, President of FSC-US agreed with Bubser, adding "Certification of their Wisconsin forestlands continues the great example Potlatch sets across the nation by seeking FSC certification of all 1.7 million acres they own. We are excited to see Potlatch joining the state of Wisconsin in setting this example."

Mark Comolli, Senior Business Development Manager for Rainforest Alliance Forestry Program, noted FSC certification will open new markets that are more environmentally and socially conscious. The combination of state, county and major private forest certification builds a critical mass for Wisconsin in this developing market.

"We are new to Wisconsin. But, we feel right at home in a state that shares our commitment to building value through sound management and good stewardship of resources," said Potlatch Chief Executive Officer Michael Covey, whose company purchased the Wisconsin land in 2007. "The certification process was rigorous. Our success is a testament to the quality of people we have on the ground."

"Potlatch's commitment to Wisconsin's conservation efforts sets a great example of how to conduct business the right way," said George Meyer, President of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation and former DNR Secretary. "With their commitment to conservation of wildlife and the environment, Potlatch is a great fit for Wisconsin."

 

 

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