Paper Partnership to Create Sustainable Woodlands


A partnership between a paper maker and an outdoor clothing company could lead to the creation of more sustainable woodlands in central Wisconsin.

NewPage Corporation is collaborating with one of its customers, clothing retailer L.L. Bean, which wants its catalogs made with paper from sustainable forests. Under the program, property owners will get their land inspected at no charge to get it certified according to the American Tree Farm System. Brian Kozlowski, NewPage’s Director of Sustainable Development, says certified woodlands have to meet strict standards. “You’re not cutting more than the forest can sustain or grow back, that you’re abiding by setback distances from rivers and ecologically sensitive areas, that you are taking into account endangered species or culturally sensitive areas, Native American burial grounds for instance.”

Kozlowski says the pilot program is aimed at tree farms in Wood, Portage, Waushara, Adams, Juneau and Marquette Counties. “Really, it’s getting at small, private land owners, the person who owns 40 acres or 80 acres, where certification traditionally has not been technically or economically feasible.”

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According to Kozlowski, for the tree farms, what is good for the environment is also good for business. “For them, more and more of our customers are demanding that the fiber we use in our products come from certified forests. So, it ensures that they’re kind of on the cutting edge of staying in tune with the market.”

NewPage employs about 1,700 people at mills in Wisconsin Rapids, Stevens Point and Biron. The pilot program also involves the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association.