LANSING – State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) has introduced House Resolution 434, which calls on the governor to give equal weight to several commonly used forestry certification standards in constructing and renovating state-owned buildings. The resolution, which would encourage the use of wood products in contractors’ efforts to win green building certification, was co-sponsored by fellow U.P. representatives John Kivela (D-Marquette), Frank Foster (R- Petoskey) and Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan).
“The forest products industry is a $14 billion business in the state of Michigan. It employs thousands of people, many of them here in the western U.P., from loggers to workers who manufacture building products,” said Dianda. “The governor needs to get on board with making sure there is a place for all of these products in the state’s building standards.”
In the United States, three sets of forestry certification standards are used to source wood products: The American Tree Farm System, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). There is a push to support using only the FSC standards when certifying state buildings as green buildings. If Gov. Rick Snyder were to change state purchasing practices to only FSC-certified products, he would be effectively turning his back on Michigan’s logging industry, which is generally not certified by FSC. Allowing the use of other certification standards would encourage the use building materials made from wood and continue supporting Michigan’s forest products industry.
“The state can set an example for contractors all over Michigan by winning green certification for its buildings,” Dianda said. “But we should support using multiple forestry certification standards so that we don’t lock the logging industry out of contracts because their products may not meet a particular set of standards.”
“The logging industry is important to my 110th House District and to the entire Upper Peninsula, so we shouldn’t be limiting building products that can earn green certification,” said Dianda. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to strongly encourage Gov. Snyder to support multiple forestry certification standards, which will benefit our state’s logging industry.”