What is the American Tree Farm System
The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) is the nations oldest certifier of privately owned forestland. Simply put, ATFS is a non-profit organization dedicated to the concept of the working forest and the promotion of excellent forest stewardship on parcels of private land.
Founded in 1941 the ATFS original purpose was the result of pressure placed on the forest products industry by the Chief of the US Forest Service. These companies had a poor record of sustainably managing their forests, and the hope was for industry to help non-industrial private forestland owners (commonly referred to as NIPF’s), through education and assistance, grow the forests industry would need in the future.
Today the Tree Farm (TF) Program has changed and matured dramatically to reflect the lessons learned in forestry in the US and to showcase the high standards expected by the public in forest management.
The Tree Farm program is sponsored by the American Forest Foundation (AFF- the forest products industry trade organization), advised by leading foresters and other environmental specialists, funded through corporate, grass roots, and private donations, managed by Tree Farmers, provides fully certified wood products through its full membership in the family of internationally recognized forest landowner organizations , the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC ... see www.pefc.org ), and is locally sponsored and managed by a state Tree Farm Committee (in Tennessee, the Committee is part of the Tennessee Forestry Association.