The wood industry plays a large part in the health of our North American forests
It is well worth mentioning that clear cuts are a thing of the past here in North America.
On a recent excursion into the forests of remote western Montana, a lone Forest Service employee popped his head up out of the brush, announcing that he was there to survey land for an upcoming forest management project in conjunction with the local lumber industry. The purpose was to manage the forests to better mitigate fire danger and promote ecosystem health. Local lumber companies would be in charge of thinning areas that had become overgrown and at risk of being engulfed by a wildfire. It was an interesting mini-lesson in the very real role lumber companies play in maintaining the health of public lands. Today, loggers work hand-in-hand with the Forest Service to selectively thin areas that need thinning. When you visit Oregon State’s Forest Management page, the overview reads, “The management option focuses on the biological, ecological, and economic characteristics of forests and society. Students gain knowledge and experience in active forest management, including monitoring the health of forests and natural resources, maintaining species inventory, timber cruising, planning and executing harvesting operations, focusing on conservation and sustainability of natural resources such as wildlife, and protecting the forest from harmful weeds, insects, disease, erosion, and fire.” This university’s focus is reflective of the industry at large. The US Forest Service lists five separate “regeneration” models to keep forests lush and green for generations. In addition to maintaining forest health at the literal ground level, the wood industry also contributes to forest sustainability through modern technologies that are increasing the strength and longevity of wood as a building material. Composite wood products bring to market aesthetically pleasing products that frequently outperform their more energy-intense counterparts like steel and concrete. Plus, have you ever heard of a steel hugger? Or concrete hugger?
As the world moves toward regenerative solutions, the wood industry leads the way with a variety of professional opportunities aimed at preserving the planet, and keeping it beautiful.