A Forest Carbon Future: Recognizing Carbon-Related Benefits of Managed Forests

Lead Author: Forest Policy Forum

Publish date: 04.23.2015

 

Forest Sector and Forest Products Industry leaders – from landowners to manufacturers – have come together to identify opportunities and solutions for our forest carbon future.

 

The Forest Policy Forum is focused on maintaining and growing productive and managed forests in the United States, with the goal of ensuring that federal and state public policies and voluntary customer initiatives recognize the carbon benefits of forests and a full range of forest products.

 

There are important legal, regulatory, and voluntary market initiatives that will continue to focus on reducing the carbon footprint of products and practices. Because the forest and forest products sector has inherent carbon advantages, as noted above, we are actively engaged in shaping these policies to further lower our carbon footprint in ways that fairly represent – and enhance – our sector’s inherent advantages with regard to demonstrated carbon benefits.

 

Forest Policy Forum – Carbon Principles

 

1. Managed Forests are part of the solution 

In a world where reducing carbon emissions is a broad public policy objective, forest management, supported by research and monitoring, can provide and enhance carbon benefits.

 

2. Support for healthy, resilient, and growing forests supports that solution

Policies that encourage landowners to maintain healthy, resilient and growing forests will provide greater carbon benefits as well as a full range of co-benefits for water quality, wildlife habitat, recreation, and the economic vitality of numerous local communities. Likewise, policies that support markets for forest products help support the economics underlying these forests.

 

3. Recognition of the positive carbon contribution of managed forests and forest products helps realize that solution

The development of broad recognition of the positive carbon contribution of managed forests and the products made from them will enhance our carbon future. To understand and address atmospheric carbon benefits achieved through forestry, a workable carbon accounting system of measurement using USDA inventory data is necessary - and the simpler, the better for supporting clear and consistent improvements.

 

4. Understanding Public Policy and Market Mechanisms and their effects on forests is key to the carbon solution

Changes in market mechanisms and public policies can impact forests and forest carbon in important ways.

 

5. Support innovation in the Forest Products Sector that supports long-term benefits for addressing the carbon challenge

Carbon benefits can come from innovations in the forest products sector and can support a business case for reducing carbon.