Forests produce clean water and air, sequester carbon that helps mitigate climate change, offer numerous recreational opportunities, provide habitat for fish and wildlife habitat, and create beautiful landscapes. The U.S. is enriched by its abundant forests that in addition to their environmental benefits produce products ranging from lumber and paper and many others which are an integral part of the daily lives of all Americans. The forest products industry is a major economic engine in the U.S., producing over $300 billion in timber and forest products annually. It accounts for approximately 4% of the manufacturing GDP in the U.S. and employs over 950,000 workers. Forest products companies are among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 45 states.
Damage caused by disease and pests threaten the sustainability of Americas’ forests which impacts the entire forest products supply chain from private and public forest landowners to manufacturers who use wood as a raw material to consumers who use forest products every day. According to the USDA Forest Service, trees were dying from insects and diseases on more than 8.6 million acres across the U.S. in 2017.
A long-term strategy that will assure financial stability, intellectual continuity, a productive research pipeline, coordinated planting efforts, open information sharing, and outreach is needed. The NCASI Foundation will work with Member companies, associations, and other partners to identify and pursue avenues to meet this challenge.
More resources: Forest Health Initiative