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What is the Message About Sustainable Forestry?

by Vincent P. Corrao

Today we are inundated with green issues ranging from green products to use in our homes and building materials to purchasing forest products that are recognized through forest certification identifying that the wood material has come from sustainably managed forest.  Green also applies to energy use whether from fuel saving practices with your car, home heating to energy saving light bulbs.  As we try to take in what is green we have to understand the issues that may count the most, such as clean water, clean air and the ability of the soil to produce food for the people in our communities and to maintain a healthy environment in which to live.

Carbon released into the atmosphere and the green house gas impacts on the world are being studied and evaluated for how climate change may be mitigated or at least how we may begin to prepare for its impacts. What the green message is trying to say is that we can have benefits if we use fewer resources.  Unfortunately what the message does not say is that trees are an integral part of this equation and can help in mitigating the impacts of climate change and can be used to encourage the protection and expansion of “green” healthy forests.  A working forest is one that is managed for all uses from forest products to wildlife, water quality, soil protection for generations to come and for community benefits.

We are blessed with millions of acres of forest in the U.S. We are constantly reminded of the importance forest resources bring to the wildlife it harbors and to society.  Getting the true story of what trees and the forest can provide to society and the benefits has become a challenge.  Many believe that the forest cannot be managed to meet the demands of our growing population without damaging the resource.  Experienced resource professionals that have managed working forests and wildlife sustainably have a story to tell and it is one that can meet the growing demands of our countries wood fiber needs while protecting wildlife, soil, water and the communities that rely on these resources.

The elements surrounding resource management involve a mix of economic, social and environmental concerns which if not balanced incur havoc on the other elements.  To learn and understand what really is happening a picture is worth a thousand words.

The video industry is an excellent media to educate and visually show how the natural ecosystem works and how it relates to ongoing activities that affect populations.  The videos and information listed here have been developed by foresters and resource professionals that understand what a long term commitment to manage sustainably means and the importance of keeping the “working forest” working.

There a very good short U-Tube video from the Danish Wood initiative that can be seen at called “Wood-Nature’s Stroke of Genius”. Pass it around to your acquaintances and friends.  Take time to see the “Wood-Nature’s Stroke of Genius” video and encourage others to see it and help send the best and correct message about this amazing resource!

The Idaho Forest Products Commission has a great list of forest information, including managing for forest health, information for teachers, video, resource & materials library that can be borrowed at no cost by Idaho residents and a large list of information for all readers.

Vincent P. Corrao, President of Northwest Management, Inc., is a professional forester and a RAB, EMS-EA Environmental Lead Auditor conducting environmental audits for the past 10 years to the SFI, FSC, Tree Farm and Chicago Climate Exchange standards.

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