WASHINGTON, DC – With President Biden’s decision to rejoin the Paris Accords, the American Wood Council (AWC), National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) and Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (SLMA) stand ready to support the administration as it now seeks to reduce carbon emissions.
Sustainably managed forests and the wood products they produce can and should be an important component of the overall Build Back Better strategy to reduce the U.S. carbon footprint. Today, U.S. forests and forest products are already annually sequestering and storing nearly 15% of total U.S. carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels. With the right policy there is potential to have an even greater impact.
Wood is a renewable and sustainable material that stores carbon, both in trees growing in forests and as lumber and engineered wood products in the built environment. Working forests provide a continuing cycle of growing, harvesting, and replanting that maximizes forests’ ability to sequester and store more carbon while continuing to provide clean air, water and wildlife habitat. Wood products sustainably harvested from these working forests store carbon in traditional timber-framing, high tech bridges, tall mass timber buildings and a host of other applications. They also generate much less carbon in their manufacture, transportation and use than competing materials, further reducing the overall carbon impact to the built environment.
Wood products and sustainably managed forests can and should be part of the carbon solution. The Biden administration can support forests in the United States by embracing sustainable forest management and supporting healthy markets, which research shows is the best way to keep forests intact. Our organizations encourage the Biden Administration and federal lawmakers to recognize the benefits of working forests and wood products as they continue to look at ways to reduce our country’s carbon emissions.
The American Wood Council (AWC) is the voice of North American wood products manufacturing, an industry that provides over 450,000 men and women in the United States with family-wage jobs. AWC represents 86 percent of the structural wood products industry, and members make products that are essential to everyday life from a renewable resource that absorbs and sequesters carbon. Staff experts develop state-of-the-art engineering data, technology, and standards for wood products to assure their safe and efficient design, as well as provide information on wood design, green building, and environmental regulations. AWC also advocates for balanced government policies that affect wood products.
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.
The Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (SLMA) membership spans from Texas to Maryland, including sawmills, lumber treaters and lumber remanufacturers. In total, there are 81 member companies operating 125 locations. The mills directly employ nearly 10,000 people, in addition to the countless secondary jobs that are supported in rural economies across the Southeast. Our members also manage over 2 million acres of timberland.