Glens Falls, NY -- Finch Paper is expanding its century-long commitment to sustainable forestry by launching a new consulting forestry service to help private and public forest owners keep their lands healthy and growing for generations to come.
"We're extremely proud to make FSC- and SFI-certified papers, but our commitment to sustainable forestry cannot stop there," said Roger Dziengeleski, a company vice president and certified forester. "It's not enough to simply use certified wood in our products. We're working to ensure that our nation's forests remain as forests for generations to come."
Most forest owners today are private families, many of whom find themselves under unprecedented financial pressures that threaten the future of their forests. Rising property taxes in particular make the cost of owning forestland increasingly burdensome. Faced with these pressures, forest owners often opt to sell their land for commercial or residential development, removing the forest forever. In other instances, landowners resort to high-grading, a timber harvesting practice that removes all of the healthiest, highest quality trees and leaves a stagnant, non-productive, lower-value forest that takes decades to recover.
The Finch Forest Management Team (from left): District Forester Casey Buckley, Vice President Roger Dziengeleski, District Forester Danielle LaValley, Forest Manager Leonard Cronin and District Forester Erin O'Neill.
For landowners facing these challenges, the professional foresters employed by Finch Paper can prepare a long-term management plan that includes responsible timber harvesting on a periodic basis to generate much-needed income while keeping the forest in good health. Finch foresters can also work with forest owners to identify opportunities to lease their lands for recreational purposes or for commercial uses that have no negative impact on forest health.
In addition, Finch foresters can assist forest owners in earning the prestigious forest management certifications of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) program.
"Sustainable forestry is a science, not a slogan," Mr. Dziengeleski said. "Our foresters have the educational background and on-the-ground experience to help landowners make the right decisions for their long-term interests and the long-term health of their forests."
Finch Paper's commitment to sustainable forestry is highly regarded in the environmental and paper manufacturing communities. For more than a century, the Upstate New York-based company owned and sustainably managed more than 160,000 acres of forests commonly regarded, for their natural beauty and biological and ecological diversity, as the "Jewel in the Crown" of New York's Adirondack Park.
In 2007, the company forged a landmark agreement with the respected conservation organization The Nature Conservancy (TNC), under which TNC purchased the company's forests, but retained the services of Finch foresters to manage the property and continued to provide FSC- and SFI-certified wood to the Finch mill.
In what is believed to be an unprecedented step for a paper manufacturer that no longer owns forestland, Finch Paper retained its entire forestry staff in order to make their sustainable forestry expertise available to private and public landowners on a consulting basis.
"Finch Paper continues to be synonymous with responsible, sustainable forestry," said Joseph F. Raccuia, president and CEO of the Glens Falls-based company. "The long-term health of our paper mill is directly tied to the long-term health and availability of a healthy, growing forest resource - and we are committed to helping keep those forests healthy and growing for generations to come."
Landowners interested in learning more about Finch Forest Management can visit www.finchforestmanagement.com, call (518) 793-2541, ext. 5693, or email the foresters at [email protected]