Below is a gust blog by David Bischel, a licensed professional forester and President and CEO of the California Forestry Association (Calforests)
Wood products from local California forests that are managed for multiple purposes including wood production, environmental functions and recreation activities are possible and beneficial. In California, the wood products industry has been practicing sustainable forestry for decades; today the state has about 9.5 million acres of private forestlands that can be managed to provide wood products.
Some people are opposed to forest management, afraid that it will cause harm to the environment. However, it is essential to know that cutting one tree provides the opportunity for another to grow and that harvesting trees as a part of responsible forestry is not the same as deforestation, but reforestation.
The California Forestry Association (Calforests) is a membership organization made up of private forestland owners and forestry professionals committed to taking care of our natural resources through environmentally sound policies and sustainable use of this beautiful renewable resource. Healthy forests can provide the state with clean water and air, thriving wildlife habitats and sustainable, locally grown wood products. We are dedicated to working with our members and the industry to continue our commitment in promoting high environmental standards and thriving forest practices in the wood products sector. We are proud to have Timber Products Company as a member. They are true stewards of their 114,000 acres of timberlands in the Yreka, Calif. area.
Private forest landowners are responsibly managing their forests for the long term to provide continuous economic and environmental value – essential goods and services, good jobs, and economic support to communities through good management practices to maintain our forest’s health.
The forest sector is a small part of the California economy, but still provides more than 149,000 direct and indirect jobs throughout the state, and in some areas is the main employer giving local economies well paying jobs and sales revenue. The sector supplies 25 percent of the wood products consumed in the state. The other 75 percent is exported in from other states and countries. Local products not only support rural economies, but help sustain forested landscapes threatened with development, and can reduce the environmental impact of shipping goods from distant locations.
One of the biggest threats to California forests today are strip malls and parking lots. The population of the United States is growing. Many rural landowners are being tempted to sell their forestland for development. Private forest landowners see it as their responsibility to maintain and enhance the forests to continue to be healthy and productive to supply sustainable wood products to our ever-growing population. However, it is becoming harder and harder to harvest lumber in California.
When you purchase California-grown wood from Timber Products Company, you are supporting a company that upholds the most stringent environmental regulations and generates new forests by replanting after a harvest. Buying local wood products can help to ensure the continued existence of the California’s famous rolling forestland, sustainable wood products supply and continued investment in environmental stewardship.