The Standards

The Standards of Sustainability are the road map woodland owners must follow as they work to obtain or maintain certification in the  American Tree Farm System. The 2021 STANDARDS OF SUSTAINABILITY provide detailed information about the requirements for certification. You can learn more about the Standards of Sustainability in this webinar An Overview of the 2021 Standards and What it Means for You.

Standard 1: Commitment to Practicing Sustainable Forestry

Landowner demonstrates commitment to forest health and sustainability by developing
a forest management plan, implementing sustainable practices, and seeking opportunities
to expand their knowledge and understanding of sustainable forest management.


Standard 2: Compliance With Laws

Forest management activities comply with all relevant federal, state and local laws, regulations and ordinances.

Standard 3: Reforestation and Afforestion

Landowner completes timely restocking of desired species of trees on a regeneration harvest site and nonstocked areas where tree growing is consistent with land use practices and the landowner’s objectives.

Standard 4: Air, Water and Soil Protection

Forest management practices maintain or enhance the ecosystems and ecosystem services provided by the forest, including air, water, soil and site quality.

Standard 5: Fish, Wildlife, Biodiversity and Forest Health

Forest management activities contribute to the conservation of biodiversity. Standard 5 also addresses Forests of Recognized Importance.

Standard 6: Forest Aesthetics

Forest management activities recognize the value of forest aesthetics.


Standard 7: Protect Special Sites

Special sites are managed in ways that recognize their unique historical, archaeological, cultural, geological, biological or ecological characteristics.

Standard 8: Forest Product Harvests and Other Activities

Forest product harvests and other management activities are conducted in accordance with the landowner’s objectives and consider other forest values.