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Is Growing Trees Coming Back?

A recent report released by the Society of American Foresters, with collaboration by US Forest Service, raises some interesting points.  According to the news report (included below), U.S. environmental and energy policies should be based on science-informed premises.

One of the premises states: -- Forest products used in place of energy-intensive materials, such as metals, concrete, and plastic can reduce and store carbon emissions and can in some cases, substitute fossil fuels to produce energy.

The 4x4Voice wonders if this is a prelude to a change in forest management policy from one of preservation to a policy that includes more domestic timber production?  The use of forest products to replace metals, concrete, and plastic indicates that growing and harvesting trees is a potential action.

It does appear that such an effort would be a job-creating action while putting more carbon into a permanent "stored" condition in wood products that are used to build houses.

The long-term impacts indicate that removing the amount of carbon (in the form of CO2 - carbon dioxide) from the atmosphere is a means to combat climate change.  And, using the natural process of the carbon cycle of plants to convert CO2 into oxygen is environmentally friendly and energy efficient.

Everyone benefits from the job-creating, environmentally friendly, and energy efficient action of growing and using more forest products.

and, That's My View...

 

Nov 20,2011 - US Forest Service Teams With Society Of American Foresters on Research to Help Land Managers Integrate Energy, Products and Land Management Policy

WASHINGTON, – U.S. Forest Service scientists contributed to a far-reaching report that will help land managers make decisions about how forests are best managed to help offset carbon emissions, including the use of forest biomass for energy.

The report, “Managing Forests Because Carbon Matters: Integrating Energy, Products, and Land Management Policy,” is published in the Society of American Foresters’ Journal of Forestry. The report was compiled by the organization’s Task Force on Forest Climate Change Offsets and Use of Forest Biomass for Energy, which also coordinated more than 25 external reviews of the report.

“Congratulations to the Society of American Foresters for bringing together such a diverse team of scientists to evaluate this critical environmental and energy issue.” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “This report analyzes the most recent science on wood to energy initiatives as well as how trees can help solve the nation’s carbon emission problems.”

According to the task force report, U.S. environmental and energy policies should be based on four science-informed premises:

•Sustainably managed forests can provide carbon storage while delivering a range of environmental and social benefits, such as timber and biomass resources, clean water, wildlife habitat, and recreation.
•Energy produced from forest biomass returns carbon to the atmosphere.
•Forest products used in place of energy-intensive materials, such as metals, concrete, and plastic can reduce and store carbon emissions and can in some cases, substitute fossil fuels to produce energy.
•Forest biomass-based energy “recycles” carbon stored in trees compared to fossil fuels that release carbon.

“It demonstrates why the United States must invest in its forest resources and how land management decisions can have important positive impacts on carbon in the atmosphere while producing renewable energy and other benefits, including energy independence,” said Michael Goergen, executive vice president of the Society of American Foresters.

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Recreational activities on our lands contribute $14.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.

 

NRC South January Report January 2011
NRC Report December 2010
 

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