Informed consumers demand environmental sustainability. That’s also good news for local businesses. Our foresters and loggers know that healthy, well-managed woodlands are essential to protecting their livelihood. That’s why they make the commitment to meeting the Commonwealth Quality standards for every tree.
Explore below to learn more about CQP sustainable forest management principles.
Massachusetts is one of the few states in the country to require that a timber harvester be licensed. To become licensed, a harvester must pass an exam that demonstrates his or her knowledge of state timber laws and best management practices (BMPs). Harvesters who wish to renew their license must continue their education over the course of their career. Common course curriculum includes wetland identification, rare species habitat protection, invasive species mitigation, and workplace safety.
To create products that meet Commonwealth Quality specifications requires an attention to detail and a vision toward investing in our forests for the future. To meet this challenge, landowners and Licensed Timber Harvesters must adhere to the Massachusetts Forest Cutting Practices Act (M.G.L. CH. 132) and follow Best Management Practices (BMPs).
The Forest Cutting Practices Act was created to ensure harvested land remains in a condition that does not jeopardize public interest. It states that public welfare requires the rehabilitation, maintenance and protection of forestlands for the purposes of improving water, air, and soil quality, as well as ensuring a continuous supply of forest products for the public. The Department of Conservation and Recreation's Service Forestry Program provides regulatory oversight for the Forest Cutting Practices Act.
The Massachusetts Forestry BMPs are a series of work practices set by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to minimize the environmental impact of timber harvesting operations. Developed in a review process with input from industry stakeholders and the public, the Massachusetts Forestry BMPs provide guidelines for harvesters from preserving drinking water supplies and wildlife habitat, to limiting unintentional ignition of forest fires.
Commitment to Long-Term Forest Management & Land Use
Wood products bearing the Commonwealth Quality seal may only be sourced from forests engaged in long-term management. To qualify, a landowner must certify in a Forest Cutting Plan, their intent to improve the timber harvesting site utilizing science-based forest management techniques that promote healthy trees, protect soil and water quality, enhance wildlife habitat, and maintain recreational opportunities.
Commonwealth Quality program requirements also certify that wood products are not sourced from harvests that convert land to a non-forest or non-agricultural use. This requirement helps guarantee that products carrying the Commonwealth Quality brand support the preservation of working forest land for agriculture, wildlife, and recreation.