The environmental and economic benefits generated by private forests are not guaranteed; they depend on the stewardship practices of forest landowners. This stewardship, in part, depends on the ability of forest landowners to access markets for wood products and to earn enough money to stay in forestry. Landowners have the passion to own and manage their lands, as well as an incentive to manage their own property with sustainability in mind.
Smart forest management provides not only income but also value for future generations. So, landowners play a key role in sustainable forest management – along with the creation of jobs and economic vitality for communities. Such jobs and economic impact, of course, also depend on healthy markets for forest products. Moreover, revenue streams from complimentary forest products, like woody biomass, provide opportunities for landowners to reap more value from their forests while simultaneously enhancing wildlife habitat, water quality, and even scenic beauty.
We will continue to see the benefits 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. Why? Strong markets enable forest owners to continue to grow trees instead of converting land to non-forest uses.