Verso Paper Corp. Rallies Partners to Increase Certified Forest Acreage in Maine
MEMPHIS, Tenn., Sep 29, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Verso Paper Corp. (NYSE:VRS) today announced its participation in a partnership with Time Inc., Hearst Enterprises, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative(R) (SFI), the American Tree Farm System(R) (ATFS), and other forest products companies in Maine to promote sustainable forest management principles and initiatives.
The partnership will begin with a pilot project focused on increasing the number of third-party certified forestlands in Maine under two credible systems, SFI and ATFS. This partnership project has the potential to certify an additional 1 million acres in the State. Importantly, the project will meet the needs of small and medium-sized landowners by piloting a more cost effective certification process and providing resources to support forest management best practices.
"Verso has strategically taken a leadership role over the years to promote forest certification by developing partnerships and providing support to a variety of stakeholders with similar values," said Craig Liska, Vice President of Sustainability for Verso. In 2008, Verso provided a two-year $100,000 grant to the Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands (TCNF) to make third-party certification more accessible and affordable for small landowners in a six-state region in the Northeast. Verso also continued its long-standing leadership in support of the Master Logger programs in Maine and the Midwest by sponsoring logger training programs and certification audits for fiber suppliers who completed the certification program.
"Verso is very excited about this latest partnership and looks forward to seeing the increase in certified acreage in Maine along with the sustainable forest management practices that accompany this certification effort," continued Mr. Liska. "As a manufacturer and marketer of paper products, Verso recognizes and embraces our responsibility to support healthy, viable forests as a renewable resource for generations to come."
Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Verso Paper Corp. is a leading North American producer of coated papers, including coated groundwood and coated freesheet, and supercalendered and specialty products. Verso's paper products are used primarily in media and marketing applications, including magazines, catalogs and commercial printing applications such as high-end advertising brochures, annual reports and direct-mail advertising. Additional information about Verso is available on the company's Web site at www.versopaper.com.