Verso Paper Corp. (NYSE:VRS) was presented the Sustainable Forestry Initiative ® (SFI) President’s Award for its partnership efforts to promote sustainable forest management principles and initiatives in Maine.

“Verso is proud to be recognized by SFI for our efforts to increase the number of third-party certified forestlands in Maine,” said Craig Liska, Vice President of Sustainability for Verso. “This project has been a rewarding partnership experience for Verso. We have focused on providing support to private landowners by creating a more cost effective certification process and offering resources to support responsible forest management practices.”

“At SFI Inc., we value partnerships like this one, which yield benefits for forests, for communities and for the marketplace,” said SFI President and Chief Executive Officer Kathy Abusow. “Through its involvement in this pilot, Verso Paper Corp. is showing its commitment to responsible forestry by helping to make third-party forest certification more accessible for small- and medium-sized landowners in Maine.”

Verso has a history of sponsoring and leading similar initiatives involving a variety of stakeholders to encourage forest certification. In 2008, Verso provided a two-year 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 continues to be a supporter of the certification programs in Maine and the Midwest, where the company operates four pulp and paper mills.

About Verso

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 website at

About SFI Inc.

SFI Inc. is a 501c(3) non-profit charitable organization, and is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the Sustainable Forestry Initiative program (, that is internationally recognized and among the largest in the world. It is one of the fastest growing forest certification programs with 150 million acres (60 million hectares) of SFI-certified forests across North America. The SFI Standard also includes unique fiber sourcing requirements that promote responsible forest management on all suppliers’ lands and a chain-of-custody certification, which can communicate to buyers how much certified fiber is in a specific product. The SFI forest standard is endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, a global umbrella organization that has strict requirements for endorsement. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally.

Forward-Looking Statements

In this press release all statements that are not purely historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “plan,” “estimate,” “intend,” and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are based on currently available business, economic, financial and other information and reflect management's current beliefs, expectations and views with respect to future developments and their potential effects on Verso. Actual results could vary materially depending on risks and uncertainties that may affect Verso and its business. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, please refer to Verso’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Verso assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement made in this press release to reflect subsequent events or circumstances or actual outcomes.

Copyright Business Wire 2010