When observers of goings-on at the State House in Albany, New York, recall the events of March 10, 2008, chances are they will remember it as the day the news broke about Eliot Spitzer. They will not remember it as the day that the state's Department of Environmental Conservation announced that it had achieved third party certification (both SFI and FSC) of three-quarters of a million acres of forestlands.

And it's a shame that such an announcement was lost in the shadow of the tawdry events that brought the governor to resign later in the week. But that's the way it seems to go for forests. They are the backdrop, not the leading player. Indeed, they are the context for nearly everything that happens in the environment of the Northeast, since forests cover 75% of the landscape.

The role of the forest is critically important to all of us who are interested in having clean air, clean water, and complex ecosystems that are teeming with wildlife we want to see, photograph, and hunt.

March 10's Forestry Awareness Day then went much as can be expected. Hundreds of dedicated people spread the message of good forestry to a legislature and a public that seemed very grateful and interested, that is, until word came that the governor consorted with prostitutes.

Forests do it all, including playing an important role in sequestering carbon and combating climate change. We couldn't invent something anywhere nearly as effective at keeping us alive. And that's much more important than the fate of a governor.

NY chose to have its forests certified through both of the major systems, SFI and FSC

Sustainable Forestry Initiative

Forest Stewardship Council


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