Principle 5: Benefits From the Forest Principle 6: Environmental Impact Principle 7: Management Plan Principle 8: Monitoring and Assessment Principle 9: Maintenance of High Conservation Value Forests Principle 10: Plantations Principle 1: Compliance with Laws and FSC Principles Principle 2: Tenure and Use Rights and Reponsibilities Principle 3: Indigenous People's Rights Principle 4: Community Relations and Workers' Rights

Click here to download Draft Indicators and Preface


Dear Reviewer,

These national indicators are posted for a 30-day review period beginning October 31, 2000.

Please select the Principle you wish to review, and comment by clicking on any indicator.

Your comments will be sent to an FSC Administrator for approval. Once approved, the comments will be posted on the FSC Standards website within 24 hours. If your comments are not approval by the administrator, you will be notified via email.

After the closing of the comment period, the Standards Committee will review, and as appropriate, integrate your comments into the final version of the national indicators.

Thank you for your time and input.

FSC-U.S. Standards Committee



Draft FSC-US National Indicators

Executive Summary: The current draft regional standards were developed through significant effort on the part of the nine Continental US regional working groups. However, in order to ensure consistency across the standards and to raise the level of scientific rigor, FSC-U.S. established a Standards Committee whose task was to develop a set of national indicators*. These national indicators will serve as baseline standards for the further development and refinement of the regional standards. It is important to note that the draft national indicators included significant input from certifiers based on their experience in conducting assessments, to help ensure the practicality of the indicators.

The purpose of this document, and the attached draft indicators, is to allow regional working groups and other stakeholders the opportunity to comment on the national indicators. At this stage, it is not intended that these national indicators will have any regional specificity. Comments received during the comment period- estimated to terminate about the end of November, 2000 (see Timeline)- will be reviewed by the FSC-U.S. Standards Committee and considered during the drafting of the final set of national indicators.

*See Definitions for distinctions between indicators, standards, and other terms.


These national indicators were developed by the U.S. Standards Committee to detail additional requirements for responsible forestry, augmenting those contained in the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Principles and Criteria. When the national indicators are finalized by the Standards Committee and approved by the FSC-US Board, these indicators will be incorporated, by members of the regional working groups, into their regional standards. Incorporation of national indicators into regional indicators may entail:

    • Incorporating the exact wording of a national indicator; or
    • Developing and incorporating a regional indicator that expresses the intent of the national indicator in language considered more appropriate to the region; or
    • Including in the regional standards a scientifically based rationale explaining why the national indicator was not considered regionally applicable.

In addition to the incorporation of the national indicators, the regional working groups are expected to develop region-specific indicators that address ecological, social, and economic conditions, and to incorporate those into their regional standards.

National and regional indicators alike must meet the specifications of two sets of filters: the General Review Parameters and the Editorial Review Parameters (Appendices A and B). Application of these filters will require concentrated scrutiny of draft regional standards by working group members, and will entail deletion, extensive rewording, or relocation of some original indicator(s), as appropriate.

The national indicators are being circulated for review at this time so that regional working groups and other stakeholders can consider them in the light of their proposed use as a template for development of regional indicators. The national indicators will not be submitted to FSC-AC for formal approval as FSC policy, nor will certifiers use them when conducting assessments. Only regional standards that have been: (1) fully endorsed by a regional working group, (2) approved by the FSC-US board and forwarded to Oaxaca, and (3) endorsed by the FSC-AC Board, will be duly considered by accredited certifiers when they conduct assessments within an applicable region.

The national indicators were largely developed by synthesizing core concepts included in the draft regional standards of all nine regions and are intended to embody clear, concise, and auditable requirements for certified forest management operations. This intent and other critical concepts of the standards committee process are detailed in this preface. If a reviewer feels that this intent is not met by a particular indicator, the Standards Committee would appreciate not only identification of such an indicator but also its proposed rewording.

As noted above, this period of review is being conducted in order to solicit comments from regional working group members, as well as other stakeholders and other interested persons. Comments submitted by reviewers will be considered by the Standards Committee and, potentially, will be integrated into a revised version of the national indicators that will be submitted for FSC-US Board approval. Following approval by the board, the national indicators will, as noted above, be given over to the regional working groups, whose members will be asked to begin completion of their regional standards.

It is anticipated that an iterative process (in which draft regional standards are submitted by the working group(s) to the Standards Committee, reviewed and commented on by the committee, and resubmitted to the working group(s) for their further consideration) will continue until consensus on the wording and content of each set of regional standards is completed to the satisfaction of both the working group and the committee. However, if an impasse in the iterative process arises, the dialogue will continue, but approval of that particular set of regional standards by the Board may be delayed. The Board, as the only duly constituted entity of FSC International in the U.S., has final responsibility for the content and disposition of the regional standards.

Table of Contents

The sections of this document, as summarized below, contain information vital to understanding the current and ongoing process of completing and harmonizing regional certification standards.

(Defines commonly used terms in this document.)

U.S. Standards Committee Process
(Includes a Rationale, a Description of the Committee, and a projected Schedule and Timeline of Activities for the standards completion process)

Application of the National Indicators
(Contains an overview of the development and intended use of the national indicators)

Structure of the National Indicators
(Explains key words and standard phrases and contains explanatory notes)

Applicability to Land Ownership Type
(States the position of the Standards Committee as to the applicability of these standards to federal lands, other public lands, and private lands, in relation to current FSC-US Board policy)

Frequently Asked Questions
(Contains several questions commonly directed to FSC staff regarding the national and regional standards completion processes, and answers to them)


General Review Parameters

Editorial Review Parameters

Standards Committee Members and their Credentials

FSC-U.S. Board Federal Lands Policy Statement


Principle 1:Compliance with Laws and FSC Principles
Principle 2: Tenure and Use Rights and Responsibilities
Principle 3: Indigenous People's Rights | Principle 4: Community Relations and Workers Rights
Principle 5: Benefits from the Forest
| Principle 6: Environmental Impact | Principle 7: Management Plan
Principle 8: Monitoring and Assessment | Principle 9: Maintenance of High Conservation Value Forests
Principle 10: Plantations