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Sustainability in the Forest Industry

Forests play a major role in our lives. They provide valuable resources, water and recreation. What makes that possible? Sustainable forestry practices and the people who manage forests.

Sustainability is the foundation of the paper and wood products industry. It is a way to support the environment, wildlife and make good use of renewable resources to manufacture essential products.

Jeff Bradley, former Manager of Forestry & Wood Products Policy at AF&PA, understands the importance of sustainability. He is now the Director of Sustainability Standards at the American Wood Council (AWC) and worked on policies that help landowners sustainably manage their forests.

"Sustainable forestry positively impacts water and wildlife while providing the materials we as an industry need to keep going,” Bradley said.

AF&PA and AWC members invest millions of dollars in the industry, and they want to make sure their investments pay off. The only way to do that is by sustainably managing forests.

Bradley advises that forest landowners create a written forest management plan with a professional forester and to work with trained loggers.

“Having trained professionals helps to ensure a long-term vision and retain the values that landowners are looking for,” Bradley noted.

Another important part of sustainable forestry is thinking about the future.

According to Bradley, this means “…managing our forests for wildlife, water, recreation and wood for our children and our children’s children. We’re managing for the long term, and we want family forest landowners to do the same.”

Today, U.S. forests are strong. Trees are one of our most abundant renewable resources. We owe that and the forest products we use daily to sustainability champions like Bradley and the industry’s commitment to sustainable forestry.

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 recyclable 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 5% of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures about $350 billion in products annually and employs about 925,000 people. The industry meets a payroll of about $65 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 43 states. Visit AF&PA online at or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper