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FSC set to certify tall-ship project

The Forest Stewardship Council is currently in the process of certifying a historic tall ship project being built in Sausalito, Calif., assuring the vessel is built with 100 percent certified lumber from northern California and Oregon.

The wood awaits for the project to begin.

The Educational Tall Ship for San Francisco Bay, the non-profit group behind the project, selected SCS Global Services of Emeryville, Calif., a leading FSC certifier, to conduct the independent assessment proving that only FSC-certified lumber is used in the hull, decks and cabins. FSC certification ensures that forest management practices protect old-growth trees, rivers and terrestrial ecosystems, while avoiding overlogging.

“The positive environmental story behind their selection of wood to be used in the ship is that it is associated with responsible forestry as confirmed by FSC certification. That means that the forests, which are based in Medoncino County, north of Sausalito in Northern California, there’s a 50,000-acre forest operation that is owned by an organization called the conservation fund,” SCS Global Services executive vice president Robert Hrubes says.

“They have been certified by the FSC and we’ve been their certifier for many years. We are going out there with checklists to make sure that their practices are meeting our requirements.”

The 132-foot vessel will be the largest wooden ship constructed in the San Francisco area in nearly 100 years, with construction costs estimated around $5 million. It will be built with Douglas fir harvested from FSC-certified forests in Mendocino County that was donated by the Conservation Fund, also audited by SCS. FSC-certified Oregon white oak supplied by Sustainable Northwest will be used for rigging parts, hatches, furniture and the rudder.

Alan Olson, founder of the Educational Tall Ship nonprofit, says his organization wants to teach children to be stewards of the planet.

“Teaching them about our responsibly harvested FSC certified wood is a great way we can help them connect with the local environment,” says Olson.

During construction, the Educational Tall Ship will invite visitors to learn how wooden ships are built. Once launched, she will act as a living laboratory for students to learn to sail a tall ship while studying marine science and ecology. The ship will set sail in San Francisco Bay and beyond.

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This article originally appeared in the August 2013 issue.

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