Forests are essential to a healthy environment. They sustain vital plants and wildlife, filter our water and air, and mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration. Forests are also an economic resource, providing a renewable natural material from which the forest products industry responsibly produces recyclable products.
History and science demonstrate that an efficient forest products industry can coexist with a healthy environment. Today, the United States has 20 percent more trees than it did on the first Earth Day celebration more than 40 years ago.
AF&PA members strongly support and encourage the use of forestry best management practices and track and report on the use of such practices throughout the entire wood supply chain. The AF&PA sustainable procurement principles reach beyond the requirements of analyzing legality by encouraging that wood obtained through AF&PA member fiber sourcing programs is received from suppliers trained in the area of sustainable forestry practices and principles and through the use of qualified logging professionals.
Through sustainable forest practices, we are able to provide renewable natural raw materials for production of recyclable paper and packaging products, as well as energy‐efficient and environmentally‐friendly building materials. For paper and wood products, the connection to trees is as strong as any product can have to the base resource. Whether using virgin fiber or recovered fiber, trees are the root resource. 91 percent of all harvest comes from private lands, and without a regular harvesting of trees to manufacture products, those managed forest lands would likely be sold or used for other purposes such as development or agriculture ‐ purposes that would not include the consistent replanting of trees.
- In the United States, private, working forests support 2.5 million jobs, $235 billion in annual sales, $87 billion in payroll, $4.4 billion in state income and severance taxes, and $102 billion to the GDP.
- One-third of the United States is forested - 751 million acres. Privately-owned forests supply 91 percent of the wood harvested in the U.S. State and tribal forests supply approximately 6 percent and federal forests supply only 2 percent of the wood used by the forest products industry.
- More than 56 percent of U.S. forests are privately owned, much of it by family forest owners who manage their lands to provide value to future generations.
- Twenty percent of timberland in the U.S. is certified to reputable third-party verified systems. All AF&PA members who own forestland conform to a sustainable forest management programs, and those who source wood fiber from the forest comply with the sustainable procurement principles.
- For the past 100 years, total forest area has been stable and grew by 2 million acres from 2000 to 2005
- Insects and disease threaten 58 million acres of America’s forests.
- A single tree can absorb more than 10 pounds of CO2 each year.
- In the U.S., forests and forest products store enough carbon each year to offset approximately 10 percent of the nation’s CO2 emissions.
- Two-thirds of the nation’s drinking water comes from forests.