Paper Production and Sustainable Forestry Keeps Forests Growing

According to Two Sides North America, a Chicago, Illinois-based organization supporting the graphics communications industry, between 2005 and 2015, US forests grew by the equivalent of 2,740 NFL football fields each day. In the US, more trees are grown than are harvested, and there are 20% more trees today than there were on the first Earth Day Celebration in 1970.

Private landowners provide more than 90% of wood and paper products. This helps ensure the long-term health of forests. Receiving income for wood products grown on their land, private foresters are incentivized to engage in smart, sustainable harvesting practices. Profitable forest management may prevent the conversion of land to non-forest uses like real estate development and agriculture. Healthy forests benefit the environment and economy by replenishing the supply of wood fiber, reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, creating trees that release oxygen into the atmosphere and providing hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Many people are aware of the importance of recycled paper products made from wood fibers. While collecting and recycling paper is great for the environment, wood fibers in recycled materials eventually will become weak and break down. Without fresh wood, recycled fiber would quickly run out and paper production would cease. Fresh wood fiber harvested from responsibly managed forests is therefore vital for keeping the paper life cycle going.

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