An online resource illustrating the critical role active forest management and wood products play in mitigating climate change is now available.
Multiple forest management groups launched a website that outlines how the state can increase carbon capture through working forests and wood production to help meet its ambitious goals of cutting reduce net carbon emissions by 95 percent by 2050.
“Healthy, growing trees are the fastest way to remove carbon from the atmosphere while simultaneously helping to prevent small forest fires from becoming catastrophic wildfires,” said Jason Spadaro, WFPA executive director. “As widescale damage from increasingly larger blazes mount each year, it is critical that we all – residents, community leaders and policymakers – take actionable, science-backed steps to promote healthy, resilient forests and reduce carbon emissions. This can be done through sustainable forest management.”
Trees use carbon dioxide from the air to turn carbon into solid wood, releasing oxygen in the process. The faster a tree grows, the quicker it stores carbon. By harvesting slower-growing trees and replanting them with faster-growing trees, a forest’s carbon removal capacity is increased. The carbon in harvested trees remains in the wood throughout the product’s lifespan, turning homes, furniture, infrastructure and other timber products into carbon vaults.
Forest management is more important than ever. Drought and hotter summers brought on by climate change and nearly 100 years of fire suppression policies on federal and state forest lands have created a dangerous situation. Catastrophic wildfire events are becoming increasingly more frequent, threatening private property, wildlife habitat, human health, the environment, public safety and air quality.
At the same time, demand for renewable, environmentally friendly products made from wood has soared as community leaders, builders and consumers look beyond more carbon-intensive materials like plastic, steel and concrete and insist on a greener way of life. The website – workingforestscarbonblueprint.org – explains how a sustainable cycle of growing, harvesting and planting healthy trees removes carbon from the atmosphere and wood products ensure that carbon remains locked away for decades.
About the Washington Forest Protection Association The Washington Forest Protection Association (WFPA) represents private forest landowners growing and harvesting trees on about 4 million acres in Washington State. Members of the 115-year-old association are large and small companies, individuals and families who practice sustainable forestry in Washington’s private forests. For more information, go to www.wfpa.org.