Forest Stewards Guild Public Policy

The goal of the Forest Stewards Guild's public policy work is to improve the effectiveness of forestry regulations and laws in encouraging and ensuring excellence in forest stewardship by educating policy makers, advocacy groups, and the public on practical aspects of forestry. Many policies that affect forests are not based on adequate information and do not promote ecologically, economically, and socially responsible forestry. Instead, forest issues are frequently addressed in responses to crises such as catastrophic wildfire, endangered species concerns, or global market fluctuations, with wide swings in political motivations and approaches.

The Guild is seeking to improve forest policy at both the national and local levels through science-based advocacy and by providing policymakers with our expert opinion.

Current Policy Efforts • Policy Statements • Position Statements 


Current Policy Efforts

  • Investing in Fire Adapted Communities & Resilient Landscapes
    The Guild is deeply invested in creating fire adapted communities and building resilient landscapes. At the national policy level, long-term funding solutions that reforms the way the federal government budgets for wildfire are crucial. Read the RVCC issue paper here.
  • Forest Biomass
    For more detail on the Forest Stewards Guild's work on forest biomass please see the biomass program page.
    The Forest Stewards Guild policy statement on biomass covers a variety of key issues including the promise and limitations of biomass for energy and its context in an overall energy strategy, protections for forest health, highest and best utilization of biomass, the sustainable use of biomass to mitigate climate change, biomass removals on public lands, and more. Adherence to these policies will ensure that biomass can play an important role in our energy future while sustaining ecosystem health over the long term. Read the policy statement here.
  • Climate Change
    The Guild advocates for using the power of our forests in the effort to counter climate change and for the inclusion of excellent forestry in carbon cap and trade systems. For more information, click here.
  • Working Forest Conservation Easements
    The Guild advocates for conservation easements that protect the working forest as well as its ecological and social values. For more information, click here.

  • Migrant Forest Workers
    The Guild endeavors to improve policies affecting the conditions of migrant forest workers. For more information, click here.
  • Collaborative Restoration
    The Guild works as a core member of the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition to find policy solutions to the ecological and economic challenges faced by many forest-dependent communities. The Guild has testified before Congress about national legislation to promote collaborative restoration. Read the RVCC issue paper Achieving Outcomes through Collaboration
  • Community-Scale, Integrated Biomass Utilization
    As part of the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition the Forest Stewards Guild helped to draft an issue paper on woody biomass, which includes a vision for woody biomass utilization that helps catalyze rural development and forest restoration. The issue paper also present a policy strategy to support commuinity-scale, integrated woody biomass utilization. 

Policy Statements

Forest Stewards Guild policy statements are voted on for approval by the Guild’s professional membership. 

Position Statements

Guild position statements are developed under the umbrella of a policy statement and are adopted by the Membership and Policy Council.

Congressional Testimony

The Guild provides statements and testimony on national legislation and policies related to forest and the communities that depend on them. The Guild and its members are also active on policy issues at state and local level.