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Forest Management Key to Healthy Forests

Blair Bishop believes the future of the forests lies in the hands of the next generation and it’s the duty of foresters today to plan for the future.

Bishop is the owner of Bishop Forestry and Land PLLC. He’s also a registered forester with North Carolina and a Certified Forester of the Society of American Foresters.

“It is easy to understand why many people have concerns and feel forests need to be left ‘untouched’,” Bishop said. “I felt this way at times when I was a young man, and for me it came out of this notion that human beings are disconnected from their environment and there is an overall fear of doing something ‘wrong’.”

Forests are home to more than trees. Bishop understands to have healthy trees, there also needs to be a healthy ecosystem. He also knows nature can’t always find that balance on its own.

Bishop said the areas of forest management that are always at the top of mind are:

  • Protection of water quality
  • Protection and enhancement of wildlife habitats
  • Identification and protection of cultural and historic resources

Bishop’s work contributes to the industry’s goal to Advance More Resilient U.S. Forests, part of the larger sustainability initiative, Better Practices, Better Planet 2030 (BPBP 2030).

“Forests aren't static but dynamic changing ecosystems. The importance of goals set forth in BPBP 2030 and other initiatives is that it focuses on resiliency,” he said. “Something that both the forests and the communities that live in and around them need.”

Bishop believes to help forests thrive now and, in the future, others need to be taught about managing healthy forests.

Bishop collaborates with other members of the North Carolina Forestry Association (NCFA) to host 3 week-long sustainable forestry teachers experiences. The workshops take place across the state and provide teachers the opportunity interact with different ecosystems and learn about the forestry supply chain in North Carolina.

“This is an amazing opportunity for NCFA members to ‘teach the teachers’ so they can go back to their classroom across the state to better share their knowledge of forestry and the environment,” Bishop explained. “It’s also how teachers can foster their students’ education and future career opportunities.”

Trees are one of our most abundant renewable resources. Bishop thinks foresters and natural resource managers need to do their best to educate on what healthy forest management means so forests can continue to thrive.

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance U.S. paper and wood products manufacturers through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. The forest products industry is circular by nature. AF&PA member companies make essential products from renewable and recycle resources, generate renewable bioenergy and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative—Better Practices, Better Planet 2030: Sustainable Products for a Sustainable Future. The forest products industry accounts for approximately four percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures nearly $300 billion in products annually and employs approximately 950,000 people. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $60 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 45 states. Visit AF&PA online at afandpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.