Washington, DC – As working forests in the United States meet increasing demand for renewable, sustainably sourced wood products, our forests remain healthy and abundant. An analysis released today by the National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) shows that private working forest owners grow 43% more wood than they harvest in the U.S.
The new report by Forest2Market analyzes Forest & Inventory Analysis (FIA) data from the U.S. Forest Service, looking at forest growth and harvest rates in 32 states where nearly all private working forests are located. Forest volume has been expanding in the United States since 1952 because of sustainable forest management that includes growing and maintaining healthy forests, sustainable harvesting to make renewable wood products, and replanting and regeneration to renew the cycle.
“Sustainable forest management in the United States is far different from the deforestation and forest degradation we see in some parts of the world,” said Dave Tenny, founding President and CEO of NAFO. “This report confirms what we already know – that when we use renewable wood products, harvest responsibly, and reinvest in our forests, we keep them healthy, productive, abundant, and perhaps most importantly, intact.”
America’s working forests are 70% privately owned and provide the economic and environmental benefits that both rural and urban communities across the United States need. Forests in the United States offset 12-15% of our total emissions each year, provide 30% of our drinking water, and are home to a wide variety of wildlife. At the same time, private working forests in the U.S. support 2.5 million jobs, mainly in rural communities that need them.
“Public demand for materials that are renewable, sustainably sourced, and environmentally friendly is growing. Our forests are delivering,” Tenny said. “More demand for renewable, sustainably sourced wood allows private forest owners to plant more trees and invest in the future of their forests. When consumers choose forest products, they are also choosing clean air, clean water and wildlife habitat, and they support the people who work every day to provide these benefits for everyone.”
Forest owners in the United States meet the highest standards of sustainable management in the world. This report demonstrates the extent and benefits of that commitment.
The National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) is a national advocacy organization committed to advancing federal policies that support the long-term economic, social and environmental benefits of sustainably managed privately-owned forests. NAFO member companies own and manage more than 46 million acres of private working forests – forests that are managed to provide a steady supply of timber. NAFO’s membership also includes state and national associations representing tens of millions of additional acres. Private working forests in the U.S. support 2.5 million jobs. Learn more at nafoalliance.org.