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Blog

Top 3 Reasons Why Working Forests are Important

March 12, 2020

Forest2Market recently hosted four students from the British International School in Charlotte, NC in support of the school’s intern program for ninth graders. During their week with us, students Griffin Bramble, Zach Bruinooge, Alexis Grant and Romain Pierre learned about Forest2Market’s analytics-based products, the diversity of the global forest supply chain, and the importance of working forests for societies, economies and the environment. Their final assignment was to write and publish a post on Forest2Market’s MarketWatch blog covering the importance of working forests. We enjoyed our time with the interns, and we appreciate their contribution to our blog!

Working forests are extensive acres of land that are conscientiously managed to supply a steady and renewable supply of wood products from multiple species of trees. This land is critical to the environment, economy, and most importantly, our survival. Forests create millions of stable jobs across the globe and contribute to the massive wood market. But the economy is not the only reason working forests are important, because trees also store carbon dioxide, produce oxygen, and clean the air. 

  • Employment: Working forests produce billions of logs each year, which generate millions of jobs for workers globally. There are many different categories of on-site forestry jobs that consist of loggers, forest technicians, conservation workers and forest scientists. The National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) says that private working forests provide 2.9 million jobs to the American economy.

    In many rural communities around the globe, working forests make up the majority of the local economy and because the demand for wood is so high, these forests are also a source of income for woodland owners. In some areas, families own large sections of forest and in other areas, small and large businesses also own lots of growing trees. HOME_pic_treesunset
  • Environment: The environment benefits greatly from working forests. Working forestry help provide clean water and air and reduce carbon in the atmosphere. Trees in working forests are able to absorb carbon and when they are turned into wood products, they keep the CO2
    trapped.

    Buffer zones are located within working forests that provide shade as well as slope stabilization that reduces erosion and sediment entering streams, keeping water clean and allowing species such as salmon to thrive. In order to keep tree levels increasing, for every tree a working forest cuts down, it plants even more to replace it. In fact, there are many more trees being planted than are being harvested in working forests. This in turn helps boost the environmental benefits and allows for future generations of trees to come. Finally, working forests are able to provide habitats for wildlife in the area. 

  • Economy: NAFO and Forest2Market published information on private working forests and their effect on the economy in a study area in the United States.
    • Value of Timber Sales and Manufacturing Shipments in the Study Area:
      • All timber sales total approximately $10.1 billion.
      • All paper, wood and furniture manufacturing shipments are valued at $326.3 billion.
      • Timber sales from private timberland total $8.8 billion.
      • Approximately $279.3 billion of the manufacturing shipments are associated with private timberland.
      • Total private timberland sales and associated manufacturing and shipments amounted to $288.1 billion.
    • Contribution to GDP in the Study Area:
      • GDP associated with paper, wood and furniture manufacturing industries totals nearly $107.5 billion.
      • Within the study area, paper, wood and furniture manufacturing industries are 5.7% of total manufacturing GDP.
      • Approximately $92.0 billion of forestry-related businesses’ contribution to GDP is associated with private timberland.
      • Private timberland is associated with approximately 5.2% of manufacturing GDP.

In conclusion, working forests are vital across the globe because they provide millions of jobs, environmental benefits and economic benefits to us all. It is critical that these forests are maintained so they will continue to provide these benefits for generations to come.

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