Skip to content

Understanding the Importance of Certification through the American Tree Farm System® (ATFS)

The American Tree Farm System® (ATFS) is the United States’ oldest family forest certification program. In 1941, ATFS began promoting responsible forest management on our nation’s private forests.  The ATFS works to sustain forests, watershed and healthy wildlife habitats through the power of private stewardship by offering affordable forest certification for family forest landowners in the United States. ATFS has undergone many changes since its beginnings in 1941 and is now internationally recognized as a credible forest certification system. For 70 years, ATFS has enhanced the quality of America’s woodlands by giving forest owners the tools they need to keep forests healthy and productive. register a domain Third party certification through ATFS is one of these important tools and meets strict third-party verification and auditing standards under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc. (SFI, Inc.).

ATFS-certified family forests meet eight standards of sustainability and are managed for multiple purposes: water, wildlife, wood and recreation. ATFS is a strong network of woodland owners who share the same core values of hard work, community responsibility and commitment to protecting America’s forest legacy. Family woodland owners with ATFS certified forestland provide multiple public benefits from clean air and water, wildlife, to green jobs and forest products.

There are strict requirements to become a Certified ATFS Inspector.  An ATFS Inspector has the knowledge of natural resource management, has graduated from at least a two year forestry program, and has attended and passed the approved ATFS Inspector training course.

When considering becoming a Tree Farm member in your state there are a few steps to certification that have to be met:

  1. Woodlands must be ten acres or more.
  2. Under management, with a written and implemented plan that accounts for water quality, wildlife habitat, soil conservation, biodiversity, and recreational opportunities as well as production of forest products.
  3. Protected from fire, insects, disease and destructive grazing.
  4. Reforested and harvesting.

Your management plan is a key document for the assessment. Managing forests and sustaining them for the future is both an honor and a responsibility. The American Tree Farm System® asks that the responsibility be taken seriously.

Northwest Management, Inc. has two or more certified ATFS Inspectors in the Moscow, ID, Deer Park, WA and Helena, MT area offices to help you get started on the path to certification.  The Tree Farm sign is the sign of good stewardship. Post your ATFS sign with pride! You have been recognized for your good stewardship and your commitment to sustainability on your woodlands.

Share this post