Surprised? You’re not alone. Most people just don’t realize how new technologies and forestry practices are helping to ensure that there will always be plenty of trees, plenty of wood, and plenty of paper to enhance our lives while protecting the environment.
This really isn’t hard to believe if you look at the facts, which we heartily encourage.
Our industry plants over 1.7 million trees every day**, more than making up for what we harvest. Because of our reforestation efforts coupled with nature's amazing regeneration abilities, our forest inventory has grown by 39% over the past half century.
[*U.S. Forest Service, RPA Data 1987-2002]
[**Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Program]
[***U.S. Forest Service, Forest Resources of the United States, 2002 (Smith et. al)]
Recycle the newspaper you read today, and it becomes a new paper tomorrow. Recovery of old newspapers reached a record high of 72% in 2003.
As you know, recycling entails all sorts of paper products, not just newspapers. And every year, we’re recycling more. In 2003, 50% of the paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling, and our industry has set a goal to reach 55% by 2012. And today, more than 80% of all paper mills in the U.S. use recovered paper to make their products.
The more we all recycle, the better we are able to balance the wood and forest products we need with the needs of nature and the forest environment.
We believe nature’s offspring deserve good homes, just as ours do. So we protect our forests. For example, we carefully manage the watersheds where we collect our drinking water (forests help keep our waters clean). By thinning forests, we stimulate growth in trees and provide better sources of food for wildlife. And removing underbrush also decreases forest fires, which we’ve substantially reduced over the years.
We’re constantly working with conservationists, governments, corporations and groups committed to wildlife preservation, like the Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, to ensure we do right by nature. We can’t live without our forests, nor would we ever want to.
Many of our member companies have helped create conservation areas, by trading, selling or contributing significant areas of land to environmental groups and governments, such as donating 49,000 acres that became the core of the Great Dismal Swamp Refuge in Virginia.
Our members are also protecting many species such as the Red Hills salamander in Alabama; the red-cockaded woodpecker in the U.S. southeast; the marmot in British Columbia; the mountain woodland caribou in Alberta, and the American burying beetle in Oklahoma.