Sustainable forest or sustained yield comes to us from foresters of the 18th and 19th century in Europe. At the time, much of Europe was being deforested, and foresters became increasingly concerned since wood was one of the driving forces in the European economy.
Modern efforts to define sustainable forest management have met with confusion and argument. A debate over criteria and indicators to be used to measure forest sustainability is at the heart of the issue. Any attempt to define sustainability in a sentence, or a paragraph, or even several pages can be limiting.
Forest certification is based on the principle of sustainability. A worldwide leader in the certification effort is the Forest Stewardship Council who has developed widely accepted sustainable forest principles. Another forest certification organization, called Sustainable Forest Initiative, is a collection of sustainable forestry principles developed to achieve a much broader practice of sustainable forestry throughout the United States without higher cost to the consumer.