The National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) today released two new reports confirming the ongoing relationship between strong markets for wood products and sustainable forestry in the U.S.
“The reports reveal that the more wood we use, the more trees forest owners grow, and that has a positive impact on everyone, especially in communities where working forests are the cultural and economic foundation. These forests support 2.4 million jobs nationwide and thousands of wood-derived products that improve the quality of our lives,” said Dave Tenny, NAFO President and CEO.
The reports study the 32 most forested states, representing 91.3% of all working forests in the contiguous U.S., 74% of which are privately-owned. United States Forest Inventory and Harvest Trends on Privately-Owned Timberlands is a first-of-its-kind national report detailing annual forest growth and removal data by product, species and region and summarizes this data at a national level. The report reveals that private forest owners:
- Grow 40% more wood than they remove.
- In the South, they are growing 41% more.
- In the North, they are growing 32% more.
- In the Pacific Coast/Northwest, they are growing 42% more.
- Remove a small percentage of the total inventory of growing trees.
- In the South, removals were equivalent to 2.9% of growing trees
- In the North, removals were equivalent to 1.2% of growing trees.
- In the Pacific Coast/Northwest, removals were equivalent to 2.0% of growing trees.
“The report makes clear that forest owners are harvesting only a small portion of the trees they grow to maintain an abundance of trees,” Tenny said. “Strong markets for wood products—including energy here and abroad—help keep these forests healthy, productive and able to provide numerous environmental benefits such as clean air and water, and habitat for wildlife. Public policy has long recognized this positive relationship. As a result, forest owners are growing 40 percent more wood than they are harvesting.”
NAFO also released The Economic Impact of Privately-Owned Forests in the United States,the second update to NAFO’s inaugural report published in 2009. The report revealed on a national level that private working forests support:
- 2.4 million jobs
- $99 billion in payroll
- $281 billion in sales
NAFO’s interactive map details state-specific economic impacts.
Both reports were produced by Forest2Market, a company providing market data and analytics to participants in the wood supply chain.