Foresters determine when and how trees should be harvested, ensuring that forests are healthy and productive. The industry is committed to sustainable forest management and follows the guidelines and standards of the American Forest & Paper Association’s Sustainable Forestry InitiativeSM and the National Hardwood Lumber Association’s Sustainable Forest Policy. The industry continues to improve yields of the finished products from each tree, and to invest in forestry and genetic research, which ensures that industry lands will be even more productive in the future.
Wood is recyclable, biodegradable and durable – sometimes lasting for centuries. When it is no longer needed, it can be returned to the earth and renewed for future generations. Resources such as iron ore, coal and limestone, once removed, are gone forever. Wood is a more efficient insulator, requires less energy, less clean water, and creates less carbon dioxide than manufactured steel.
The U.S. National Park System (83 million acres) preserves natural features, exceptional beauty and areas of historical interest. It includes battlefields, lakeshores, memorials, monuments, preserves, recreation areas, scenic trails and wild and scenic rivers. Unlike national forests, national parks do not allow any timber harvesting or hunting. The National Forest System (191 million acres) was established [...]
Forests cover about one-third of all land in the United States. The Pacific Northwest is home to some of our oldest forests, while hardwood forests are most abundant east of the Mississippi River. More than 58 percent of America’s timberland is owned by non-industrial private landowners. Twenty seven percent of the timberland consists of public lands and national forests, while 14 percent is owned by the forest industry.
Biodiversity refers to the variety and variability among living organisms and the ecosystems in which they occur. Forest management enhances biodiversity after harvest, while providing a mosaic of forest types and age classes across the landscape, and benefiting a broader range of plants and animals than does any single habitat type – including old-growth forests. Conserving and enhancing biological diversity is an integral part of natural resource management…including timber harvesting and food production.
We are growing far more hardwoods each year than are harvested and lost to fire, insect and disease. In fact, if hardwood trees stopped growing today, and harvesting continued at the same rate, our hardwood timber supply would last over 75 years.
Scientists estimate lumber manufacturing consumes just 4% of the energy used by all raw materials manufacturers. Steel and concrete manufacturers consume 56%. A steel stud requires 21 times as much energy to produce and releases 15 times the sulfur dioxide as a wood 2x4.