photo courtesy Bruce Alber

We all benefit from Washington's working forests

Washington soil grows more than just food crops. The Evergreen State is famous for its coniferous trees. Foresters manage our working forests to keep them healthy. Beautiful landscapes, clean lakes and streams, tree-covered hills, habitat for wildlife, fresh air and opportunities for lots of outdoor recreation are just some of the value Washington gets from private, managed forests.

Products made from trees are essential to our lives

On average, each American uses three pounds of wood products per day. This demand for wood is why the forest products industry in Washington is the third largest manufacturing sector in the state.

Holding carbon for a better climate

Excessive carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can contribute to problematic global temperature changes. Half the dry weight of wood is carbon taken out of the atmosphere and stored by trees. This captured carbon helps moderate climate change and makes wood very strong. Wood can be used in a nearly endless variety of ways that keeps this captured carbon out of the environment.  Learn how trees store carbon.
photo courtesy of Oregon Forest Institute
Beautiful, multi-story, urban buildings are being built from wood. Check it out and become a Facebook friend of tall wood buildings.

Wood harvested in Washington is grown sustainably. On average, for every tree cut about three more are planted

 For decades, the owners of private forestland have been deeply invested in the future. Today nearly all of the logs that go to market are from second and third-growth trees. These trees were planted right after logging. Each year forest landowners in Washington plant an average of 52 million tree seedlings in areas that have been harvested.This practice means Washington won't run out of trees that we need for making wood products.

Managed forests safeguard the water quality of Washington’s streams and rivers

Washington foresters helped write the Forest and Fish Law to ensure cool clean water, improved forest roads and the protection of steep slopes. As of 2013, more than 5600 barriers to fish in forest watersheds had been removed on nearly 3900 miles of streams flowing through timberlands.

Wildlife habitat is just one of many functions of a working forest

Washington's timber companies recognize fish and wildlife have needs that depend on the forest. Private forest landowners routinely collaborate with federal, state and local governments, Native tribes, communities and other forest stakeholders. They use the latest science-based research to provide a quality environment for birds, mammals and fish.

Under Washington State law, when a forest is harvested, new baby trees must be replanted

Young trees are vulnerable to competition from invasive species, faster growing species and browse by animals.  Foresters must protect these young trees so they get off to a good start.  Undesirable plants compete with trees for light and water.  Foresters must control these plants so they don't shade out the young trees.