Want more forests? Use more wood.
No matter where you are at this moment, chances are there’s a product made with wood within your reach. Wood products make up 47% of raw materials used in manufacturing in the United States, and that’s a good thing. Wood is renewable, beautiful and durable, and its production has significantly less impact on the environment than most other materials.
Buying consumer and commercial products from U.S. working forests helps to sustain the economic vitality of the private landowner community. That vitality ultimately ensures healthy working forests and their sustainability for future generations.
Eaten any wood today? You may have! And you probably brushed your teeth with it. Chances are you even dressed with wood. Skeptical? Don’t be. We’re all familiar with forest products like lumber, furniture, and paper. But few of us realize how many different things we regularly use that are manufactured from trees. In fact, more than 5,000 wood and paper products make our lives better each day.
Private working forests are the quintessential example of sustainability and renewability. But their balance of economic and environmental productivity is not guaranteed; it depends in large part on stewardship practices of forest landowners. This stewardship can occur only when forest landowners can access markets for wood products and earn enough money to stay in forestry.
The real threats to forests in the U.S. are market constraints.
Private landowners play a key role in sustainable forest management – along with the creation of jobs and economic vitality. These also depend on healthy markets for forest products. Forest product markets ensure that landowners have an incentive to keep their land forested and sustainably managed The public will continue to benefit from the environmental services forests provide – clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat, recreation, wood products, and those jobs that drive a vital economy – by continuing to make sure markets stay vibrant and healthy.
Strong markets for forests products enable us to grow more forests
- The biggest threat to sustainability is the conversion of working forests to more economic, non-forest uses.
- History demonstrates that as demand for forest products increases so does the volume of trees growing.
- America’s growing timber stock – the volume of wood growing in in the United States - has doubled since 1953 while the forestland area has remained unchanged.