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The American Hardwood Export Council has Commissioned Dovetail Partners for Independent Jurisdictional Risk Assessments of 33 Hardwood Producing States

(8 December 2023) Minneapolis, MN -  The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has commissioned Dovetail Partners to complete independent jurisdictional risk assessments covering hardwood production in each of the 33 U.S. states identified as significant producers of hardwoods. The results of the project will include providing public access to endorsed statewide risk assessments to ensure equitable nationwide access to Sustainable Hardwood Coalition (SHC)  certification by the U.S. hardwood sector. The jurisdictional risk assessments (JRAs) will be completed in conformance to the SHC “Framework for Jurisdictional Risk Assessment of Legal Compliance of Hardwood Production in the USA.”


The project will assess the risk of illegality of hardwood production in each of 33 U.S. states and produce assessments that are endorsed by the SHC. In 2022, AHEC initiated the development of the SHC and in May 2023, the SHC made available for consultation its first standard – “SHC Standard 1: Jurisdictional Risk Assessment of the Legality and Sustainability of Non-industrial Hardwood Production in the USA”. The Sustainable Hardwood Coalition (SHC) aims to provide an effective and verifiable process that will assure end users that hardwood from smallholder managed forests in the USA is both legally and sustainably sourced. Following passage of the European Union’s deforestation regulation (EUDR) on May 31, 2023, AHEC and SHC adopted an amended strategy to implement a new form of verification to demonstrate that U.S. hardwood is legal and deforestation-free in accordance with definitions in the EUDR. 


“The first priority is to implement a set of procedures that will enable U.S. hardwood suppliers to address the EUDR requirements, including investigating and providing an independent determination of the risk of illegal harvesting in accordance with the EUDR definitions,” said Mike Snow, Executive Director, American Hardwood Export Council.


The EUDR went into force in June 2023 and provides companies trading wood products with EU member states an 18 month transition period to adopt the new requirements. By 2025, wood products and other specified commodities entering the EU market must be accompanied by a due diligence statement addressing deforestation risk and providing the geolocation of all plots of lands where the relevant commodities were produced.  


The scope of the AHEC commissioned project includes the 33 U.S. states identified by US Forest Inventory Analysis (FIA) data as producing substantial hardwood volumes. Roughly in order of volume produced these states are: Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Alabama, New York, Maine, West Virginia, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, South Carolina, Missouri, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Texas, Indiana, Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, California, Vermont, Iowa, Florida, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and Delaware. The JRAs are scheduled to be completed in 2024.


For more information, to receive project updates, or to join the stakeholder and project contact list, please contact: Dovetail Partners, info@dovetailinc.org, 612-333-0430 or visit:http://www.dovetailinc.org  


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About the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC)

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is the leading international trade association for the U.S. hardwood industry, representing the committed U.S. hardwood exporters and the major U.S. hardwood product trade associations. AHEC runs a worldwide program to promote the full range of American hardwoods in over 50 export markets.


From Washington, DC and six overseas offices, strategically located near key hardwood markets, AHEC conducts a worldwide promotion program with activities in more than 35 countries. All programs are run through the joint efforts of the U.S. hardwood industry and the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), to broaden the impact on, and outreach into international markets giving members the sharp competitive edge needed to meet the growing worldwide demand for American hardwood products.


About the Sustainable Hardwood Coalition (SHC)

The Sustainable Hardwood Coalition (SHC) aims to provide an effective and verifiable process that will assure end users that hardwood from smallholder managed forests is both legally and sustainably sourced. The SHC aims to provide a cost-effective system to verify the sustainability of hardwoods and to maximize market opportunities for sustainable hardwood products.


About Dovetail Partners

Dovetail Partners is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation providing authoritative information about the impacts and trade-offs of environmental management, including consumption choices, land use decisions, and policy alternatives. Dovetail provides a highly skilled team that fosters sustainability and responsible behaviors through collaboration to develop unique concepts, systems, models, and programs. Dovetail excels at solving complex problems and helping responsible organizations succeed. We also help define programs that increase the job creation and the job quality of resource-based industries. 


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