Celebrating California’s Forest Products Industry

California’s sustainable forests are a resource that benefit everyone.

Not only do we get clean air and water, recreation, tourism and wildlife habitat, but we also get more than 5,000 wood products that we use in our everyday lives.

These products include building products like lumber, flooring, fencing, plywood and cabinets; paper products like paper towels, packaging, newspapers, signs and paper plates; cleaning products like rubber gloves, sponges, broomsticks and disinfectants; personal care products like toilet paper, toothpaste, cosmetics and shampoo; entertainment products like ping pong balls, piano keys, guitars, football helmets and baseball bats, and many more products that come from trees.

Wood is a natural, renewable, recyclable and biodegradable resource.  And one that we grow in abundance.  It’s a resource that if carefully managed, benefits our environment and our economies for generations.

So what makes our forests sustainable?

We represent more than 4 million acres of productive private forestlands that have been independently certified as sustainable.

Our forests are managed with multiple uses in mind.  Forestland owners work to balance both environmental safeguards and the economic productivity of these natural resources.

They protect our watersheds and wildlife, while maintaining the overall health of trees.  A healthy forest is thinned to reduce tree density and forest fuel on the ground to prevent catastrophic wildfire.  And it’s a forest that uses harvesting techniques that minimize impacts to the environment.

Well-managed forests have the ability to provide direct and in-direct jobs, sustain communities, provide clean energy, sequester carbon, protect wildlife, provide clean air and water, and provide California with the multitude of renewable wood products that we use every day.

Our working forests provide us with a vibrant industry in California that pumps $1.5 billion dollars into our economy every year.  The forest products industry and related fields employ more than 55,000 people – providing family-wage jobs in rural communities and lumber to build homes in our urban communities.

As technology increases, more people are building with wood because of its green building characteristics.  Wood is more energy efficient than both concrete and steel, it takes less energy to produce, and releases less air and water pollutants.  And it’s more economical.  A 2011 study by the USDA, calls wood the “greenest building material.”

Our demand for wood products is so great that California imports 80 percent of its supply to meet the growing demand.  Yet, we don’t have to.  Our forests grow more trees than are harvested every year.  In fact, our foresters plant five trees for every one that is harvested to ensure we have forests for generations to come.

Our forests have the ability to meet the demand even beyond California, and using locally sourced wood from sustainable forests is better for both the environment and the economy.

Support our sustainable forests so they can continue to provide California with the natural resources we have come to enjoy.  Thank you for celebrating National Forest Products Week with us.