Submitted: The Two Sides Team November 7, 2012
To recognize the importance of our forests, U.S. Congress has designated the week beginning on the third Sunday in October of each year as National Forest Products Week.
October 22 2012, Daily News
In the early years of the 20th century, President Theodore Roosevelt
consolidated 65 million acres of federal forest reserves into the
National Forest System and created the United States Forest Service.
the National Forest System comprises more than 190 million acres of
forests and grasslands, a priceless remnant of the great wilderness that
once stretched across our country.
America’s forests have always offered us unique and irreplaceable benefits.
They are a treasured inheritance.
To recognize the importance
of our forests, U.S. Congress has designated the week beginning on the
third Sunday in October of each year as National Forest Products Week.
Joining the celebration, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker praised the forest products industry in Wisconsin.
Governor Walker credited the conscientious public, private
landowners, and businesses for creating jobs and fueling the nation’s
No. 1 wood products industry.
“It is no surprise to me why
Wisconsin’s wood products industry is the nation’s leader,” Walker said.
“Wisconsin’s wood products industry is growing our state’s economy with
talented workers, scientists and smart property owners – all dedicated
to the health of one of our greatest natural resources – our forests.
This is a diverse sector that includes everything from the sawmill
operators to the logger to the pulp and paper business. This industry
would not be the powerhouse it is without those who are committed to the
sustainable care of our forests.”
The forest products industry
in Michigan is equally important, employing more than 40,000 people with
wages equalling $1.5 billion annually.
More than half of Michigan is forestland.
The state’s 19.3 million acres of forest make it the richest in timberland among the 21 northern states.
How important is the forest products industry?
We all use forest products every day.
are the typical forest products, including lumber, utility poles, pulp
and paper, firewood, plywood, furniture, oriented strandboard, log
homes, particleboard, paneling, shingles, flooring, cabinets, fencing,
Christmas trees and bridges.
Most of us already know about that.
forest products are also used in other, more unusual items, such as
toothpaste, soaps, medicine, printing inks, textiles, essential oils,
yarn, jelly, cosmetics, glue, tires, varnish, photographic films, soil
conditioners, animal bedding, wax, syrup, vitamins, boxes, plywood
adhesives, shampoos, cleaning compounds, sausage casings, cat litter,
turpentine, charcoal, pallets, oxygen, carpet, roofs, insecticide,
bowling pins, recreation, cereal, resins, hockey sticks, dinnerware, and
snowshoes – to name a few.
The importance of the forests and the forest products industries cannot be argued.
ensure that this vital resource never runs dry, local forest products
industries have joined the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Program.
This means local industries integrate practices that promote sustainable forestry into their day-to-day operations.
These initiatives include:
- Promptly reforesting harvested areas.
- Protecting water quality in streams and lakes.
- Minimizing the visual impacts of harvesting.
- Managing lands of ecological, geological or historic significance in a manner that accounts for their special qualities.
- Contributing to biodiversity by enhancing landscape diversity and providing an array of habitats.
- Broadening the practice of sustainable forestry by further involving
non-industrial landowners, loggers, foresters and employees.
- Reporting publicly progress in fulfilling the commitment to sustainable forestry.
Indeed, if you look at a forest and only see trees, you’re missing the real picture.