WASHINGTON, DC – July 1, 2009 – The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) announced that the KapStone Forest Management (KFM) Program’s group organization successfully completed an independent third-party assessment seeking ATFS Group Certification. NSF, an ANAB-accredited assessment firm, judged conformance to the American Forest Foundation’s 2004-2009 Standards of Sustainability and the Standard Operating Procedures for Group Organizations Group Managers and Group Members (SOP-01). At the time of the certification assessment, KapStone’s group organization included 364 group members and 193,461 acres.
The KapStone Forest Management (KFM) Program was created in July of 2008 when KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation (NASDAQ:KPPC) purchased the Charleston Kraft Business from MeadWestvaco Corporation. The landowner assistance program, started at the Charleston location by MeadWestvaco over 50 years ago, has an award winning history of providing forest management services and assistance to landowners.
The ATFS group certification recognizes nonindustrial private forest landowners who are managing their forest land in a manner that promotes continued and sustained use. Joining landowners committed to long term sustainable forest management into groups allows access to third-party certification in an affordable and efficient way. Individual landowners within the group (group members) voluntarily agree to manage their forests according to the American Forest Foundation’s Standards of Sustainability. Fiber harvested from ATFS Group certified land is recognized by the Sustainable Forest Initiative(R) (SFI(R)) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC(TM)) systems as coming from well managed forests.
KapStone has sought a way to increase the quantity of certified fiber in its portfolio. Participation in the ATFS Group Certification program is a method to achieve this, said Gary Hermann, Group Manager, KapStone Forest Management program. Paper and lumber customers are increasingly requesting products containing fiber from certified fiber sources. Timber harvested from landowners participating in the ATFS Group Certification Program helps KapStone meet the demand for certified fiber content.
Group certification gives us another tool to help ATFS accomplish its mission of getting more good forestry on more acres, said Bob Simpson, Senior VP Forestry, American Forest Foundation. With group certification we now have a means to outreach to larger numbers of forest owners, certify their forest management, and continue to feed them timely and current information regarding sustainable forestry practices.
About the American Tree Farm System (ATFS)
ATFS promotes the sustainable management of forests through education and outreach to private landowners. Founded in 1941, ATFS covers 24 million acres of family owned forestland and has 91,000 certified Tree Farmer members who are committed to excellence in forest stewardship. Tree Farmers manage their forestlands for wood, water, wildlife, and recreation with assistance from over 4,000 volunteer foresters. ATFS is a program of the American Forest Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works for healthy forests, quality environmental education and to help people make informed decisions about our communities and our world.
About KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation
Headquartered in Northbrook, Ill., KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation is a leading North American producer of unbleached Kraft paper products and linerboard. The Company is the parent company of KapStone Kraft Paper Corporation, which includes paper mills in Roanoke Rapids, N.C., and North Charleston, S.C., a lumber mill in Summerville, S.C., and five chip mills (includes one contract chip mill) in South Carolina. The business employs approximately 1,550 people.
For more information on KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation, please visit their website at http://www.kapstonepaper.com/