Working forests – those managed to grow and harvest timber – have a long history as economic drivers and valuable assets. For many rural communities, timber is the local economy – working forests support 2.4 million jobs and $98 billion in payroll, mostly in rural communities. For the private forest owners who plant, grow and manage working forests, and for the increasing number of Americans who invest in working forests as part of their retirement portfolios, timber is an attractive long-term investment that withstands market volatility.
As they grow, working forests are an environmental asset too – filtering 25 percent of our drinking water, providing habitat for 60 percent of our at-risk species, and sequestering enough carbon to offset 12 percent -15 percent of our industrial carbon emissions annually. These valuable environmental benefits are largely underwritten by the investments of private landowners over decades, and in most cases are provided to the public for free.
Dave Tenny, The Hill (8/9/17)