The success of Lyons Falls serves as an example for other pulp and paper mills that good business and environmental stewardship can go hand-in- hand.
Alan Calfee, NWF's SmartWood coordinator
The National Wildlife Federation and a small paper company in upstate New York made history recently when the world's first printing paper guaranteed to be made of wood from environmentally well-managed forests rolled off the company's machines.
NWF played two crucial roles in the event: It certified the New York manufacturer, Lyons Falls Pulp and Paper Company, as the first paper mill to process SmartWood-certified wood, and it was the first customer for the new paper. NWF placed orders for 2 million pounds a year of the uncoated stock to use for inserts in its four magazines (including this issue of National Wildlife), as well as for direct mail brochures, catalog order forms, and the SmartWood newsletter published by NWF's Northeast Natural Resource Center in Vermont.
Since 1995, the northeast center has administered the Rainforest Alliance's SmartWood program in the northeastern United States, certifying more than 100,000 acres of public and private forest lands that produce timber while conserving wildlife habitat. SmartWood also certifies companies that manufacture wood products, including furniture, flooring and musical instruments.
In the case of Lyons Falls, certification guarantees that 70 percent of the virgin fiber in its paper comes from SmartWood-certified sources.
At first glance, Lyons Falls seems an unlikely candidate for such a manufacturing milestone. Located in the foothills of the Adirondacks 90 miles northeast of Syracuse, the company bills itself as "a small company in an industry of giants." With just two paper machines, one of them 103 years old, the plant processes only about 130 cords of wood a day at full production.
Yet Lyons Falls has proved to be an industry leader in environmental stewardship. …