Forests need proper management to be safe, healthy and productive
Concern over global climate change has mobilized a broad range of forestry stakeholders including industry and environmental groups in both the U.S. and Canada. Together they are working to develop standards and protocols for effective forest management. California, Washington and Oregon are among several states engaged in this process.
Modern forest management across North America provides an important solution in helping to address climate change and our dependency on fossil fuel consumption. Making changes in federal forest management policy is just common sense. Today’s federal forest policies must support:
- Replanting of more forests
- Maintenance of healthy forests
- Increased use of long-lived wood products
- Increased use of biofuels for energy
The continuous cycle of planting, thinning, harvesting and replanting trees benefits the environment. Working forests are an ally in the fight against global warming, but with proper management and incentives, they can do even more.
Through intelligent management principles and practices, our forests could offset 1.6 billion tons of C02 per year by 2025—equal to nearly 85% of CO2 emitted by all vehicles in the U.S.
Consumers hold the power to keep our forests healthy and productive. By choosing wood products over alternatives, you help increase demand for environmentally-friendly “green” building materials while reducing society’s carbon footprint. You can also urge your legislative representative to support policies that promote health and fire resiliency in private and public forests, including brush removal, thinning and harvest practices that encourage healthy trees.
The wind and the sun are among the most familiar forms of renewable energy. Biofuel (wood waste) is another form of renewable energy that offers many advantages in the fight against global warming. As the world begins to take action against climate change, biomass energy has the power to reduce greenhouse gases, increase forest health, reduce the risk of wildfires and boost local economies.
In February of 2007, the founding partners of the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), including six Western states and two Canadian provinces, came together to implement a joint bi-national strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The WCI has developed an outline for a regional cap-and-trade system which prioritize the development of forest offsets (www.westernlimateinitiative.org).
Modern forest management policies make a difference. They cut greenhouse gases, create more oxygen and…
- Restore unhealthy forests.
- Regenerate habitat.
- Create climate-friendly products.
- Provide a bio-energy alternative.