Climate Change

Climate Policy Priorities for Privately Owned Working Forests

These general issues will likely apply to any climate policy.

WHY ARE WORKING FORESTS SUCH A POWERFUL NATURAL CLIMATE SOLUTION?

The entire working forest supply chain is critical to the health of our forests and their ability to mitigate the effects of climate change. Together, working forests and forest products deliver substantial carbon benefits, including:

SEQUESTRATION

As they grow, forests already capture more than 15% of the nationʼs annual industrial carbon emissions.

STORAGE

Most people think about storage only as the massive carbon sink in forests on the landscape. But durable wood products – like
homes, buildings, and furniture – store significant amounts of carbon long-term. And as a natural material, forest products are recyclable,
biodegradable, and renewable.

SUBSTITUTION

Forest products – like wood – can displace more fossil fuel-intensive materials, reducing net atmospheric carbon over time.


Healthy markets for forest products maximize the power of working forests to increase sequestration, storage, and substitution. Climate mitigation strategies must prioritize keeping forests intact, which means keeping the entire forest products supply chain intact as well. Without healthy markets for trees, private forest owners face increasing pressure to convert their land to other uses that are not as carbon beneficial.


CLIMATE POLICY THAT TOUCHES PRIVATELY OWNED FORESTS SHOULD:

PRIORITIZE MONITORING & MEASURING

FOCUS ON CARBON BENEFITS

ENCOURAGE FULL PARTICIPATION

SUPPORT RESILIENT FORESTS


NAFO CLIMATE POLICY PRIORITIES

These policies work together as a package or can move as stand-alone policies.

FORESTS


WOOD


RESEARCH


A NOTE ON DIFFERENT FOREST TYPES:

While 70% of working forests are privately owned, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to forest policy. These are policy recommendations for private working forests, which are managed for forest products through ongoing growth, harvest and replanting. The Forest Climate Working Group is an excellent resource for additional information and policy recommendations on private, public, and urban forests.


TIMBER TAKES BETWEEN 25 AND 100 YEARS TO MATURE

*final harvest ranges by tree species and region, based on average rotations