John Schachter
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Abundant Forests Alliance Applauds Results Of New Forest Study: U.S. Among World Leaders In Forest Growth

Washington, DC – According to a report just released by the National Academy of Sciences, the United States continued to show gains in forestland over the past 15 years, reinforcing the message of the Abundant Forests Alliance (AFA).

The report in the National Academy of Science’s journal Proceedings notes, “Many of the world’s forests appear to be making a comeback and some countries are more thickly forested now than they were nearly 200 years ago.” The report specifically found, “The U.S. gained growing stock during 1990-2005 while harvesting much round wood and some fuel.”

These findings complement the message of the Abundant Forests Alliance, a coalition of wood and paper products companies in the United States created to promote the industry’s positive record to consumers and customers. The AFA is seeking to share with consumers and customers the facts about how sustainable forestry practices, improved recycling and new technologies are helping to preserve the delicate balance between providing the wood and paper products society needs while giving the forest what it needs to flourish.

“This new report reinforces that U.S. forests can remain abundant for generations to come, thanks to the hard work of all involved parties,” said AFA President Rod Lowman. “The member companies of the Abundant Forests Alliance are committed to maintaining the important balance between supplying wood and paper products and protecting the forest resources that make these products possible. Our industry is working with Mother Nature to ensure that result.”

An international team of researchers analyzed the 50 nations with the most extensive forestland and, in turn, rated each country’s Forest Identity based on national or regional forest area, growing stock density per area, biomass per growing stock volume, and carbon concentration. The results showed that the U.S. was among the leaders in greatest total gain of the number of trees and area of forestland – and that overall the number of large trees actually increased from 1990 to 2005 in 22 of the 50 countries with the most forest.

The findings of the new report also reinforce research done by the USDA Forest Service, which shows that forestland in the United States had been fairly stable over the past 100 years despite the huge population growth. Among the reasons accounting for this strong record are industry practices, including the planting of more than 1.7 million new trees every day – more than making up for what the industry uses to make the many wood and paper products people demand.

About the Abundant Forests Alliance
Members of the wood and paper products industry in the United States have formed the Abundant Forests Alliance. We share information with consumers and customers about the many ways our industry is helping to ensure that with proper care and management there will always be abundant forests. We also listen and respond to environmental concerns about our forests and products. Through sustainable forestry practices, improved recycling and new technologies, our industry is helping to maintain the delicate balance between supplying the wood and paper products people need and giving the forest what it needs to flourish. By working together to renew, reuse and respect our forest resources, we can balance the needs of people with the needs of nature so forests can remain abundant.

Our members include: Anthony Forest Products Company | Green Diamond Resource Company | The Westervelt Co.| International Paper | MeadWestvaco | Monadnock Paper Mills | Plum Creek Timber Company | Temple-Inland | Weyerhaeuser