Responsible Stewardship

Sustainable Land Management

Rayonier is built on our ability to grow and manage a healthy, abundant renewable resource: trees. At every stage in the lifecycle of our trees, we take careful measures to ensure the long-term sustainability of our forests as well as the wildlife, soils and water within them. We are committed to looking after the land for both current and future generations. Rayonier’s success depends on a continued commitment to the principles of environmental and economic sustainability – growing, maintaining and harvesting healthy forests that will enable us and the communities we live in to prosper well into the future. 

In the late 1930s, Rayonier planted its first tree in the Southeastern United States, marking the beginning of our ongoing cycle of planting, harvesting and re-planting in our forests. In the U.S. alone, we’ve planted well over one billion trees in Rayonier’s forests, and that number continues to grow, with more than 30 million more seedlings planted in the U.S. and New Zealand in 2018 alone. This, combined with our sustainable yield* of approximately 10 million tons annually, demonstrates our commitment to sustainability. 

*Sustainable yield (average harvest level that can be sustained into perpetuity) is defined and disclosed by segment in our Form 10-K

Sustainable Land Management

Forest Certifications

Rayonier is dedicated to meeting the highest standards in forestry, measured through forest certifications. In the U.S., our timberlands are certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (“SFI”) and in New Zealand, by the Forest Stewardship Council® (“FSC”) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (“PEFC”). We voluntarily maintain the rigorous standards required to be certified, working with third-party independent auditors to ensure our practices measure up to key markers including the sustainable growth and harvest of our forests, the protection of water and soil quality, the preservation of critical plant and wildlife ecosystems and other goals focused on conservation. 

In order to operate to such high standards, we also maintain strong internal audit processes to regularly assess how well we implement regional and national standards and to evaluate ways to improve our performance. We conduct periodic field training for our foresters who manage the land to ensure they have the knowledge and skills needed. 

Please view our latest SFI and FSC audits.

SFI LogoFSC LogoPEFC Logo



Sustainable Land Management

Wildlife

Forests encompass a vast array of biodiversity and wildlife. Of the thousands of plants and animals in Rayonier’s forests, a select few species are considered threatened or endangered. Our foresters identify and conserve habitats of protected, threatened and endangered species, and our best management practices help ensure that our actions are not adversely impacting the normal life cycle or habitat of wildlife.  

Rayonier foresters and contractors are trained to recognize protected, threatened and endangered species and their habitats. They rely on mapping and database tools as well as a working knowledge of the land to determine where particular conservation practices are needed.  

In addition to our own actions, we also participate in broader industry and conservation initiatives such as population studies and surveys. See how we are partnering to preserve the Kiwi, a threatened national symbol of New Zealand.

 

Example Species in U.S.

  • Endangered* - Altamaha Spinymussel, Hairy Rattleweed, Pondberry
  • Threatened* - Northern Spotted Owl, Marbled Murrelet, Red Hills Salamander, Indigo Snake, Wood Stork
  • Candidate for Listing* - Eastern Gopher Tortoise
  • Delisted due to Recovery* - Bald Eagle

*Federal Status and Species are subject to change.

Example Species in N.Z.

  • Critical* - Blue Duck, Hochstetters Frog, Archeys Frog, Dwarf Greenhood, Kaka Beak, Thick Leaved Tree Daisy

  • Endangered* -Short and Long Tailed Bat, Deciduous Tree Daisy, Land Snails, Canterbury and Northland Mudfish, Canterbury Pink Broom, Cypress Hebe

  • Vulnerable* -North Island Brown Kiwi, Great Spotted Kiwi, Kaka, NZ Falcon, Kokako, Heart-leaved Kohuhu

  • Declining* - Giant Kokopu, Fernbird, Bloodwood, Skinks and Gekos

*Status (Classification per N.Z. Dept. of Conservation) and Species are subject to change. 

Sustainable Land Management

Soil

Soil quality is imperative to the health and productivity of our forests. Our foresters classify our land and use our knowledge of soils to guide management practices for each rotationminimizing the impact of heavy machinery during harvesting, roading and re-establishment phases of the forest cycle. 

We use our soils expertise to enforce Best Management Practices (BMPs) and Minimum Environmental Standards (MESs), which are designed to minimize erosion and prevent sediment from entering waterways during forest management activities. Our knowledge of soil properties that affect the retention and movement of fertilizers and herbicides enables Rayonier to fine-tune application rates and timing to optimize the efficiency of these silviculture treatments and minimize the potential for off-site movement.

 

Sustainability Land Management

Water

Forests and watersheds play a critical role in capturing, storing and filtering water used by people and wildlife. We adhere to all regulatory requirements, and deploy best practices to protect the water in our forests, which is essential to the long-term sustainability of our forests and the communities they support. We have clear established guidelines that are maintained, updated and used for training on a regular basis to help ensure that our forest management practices protect water quality.

Please refer to this link explaining how our New Zealand forests improve water quality.