Publication Details

Fairly sustainable forestry: seven key concepts for defining local sustainability in a global ecosystem

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Year Published

2008

Publication

In: Deal, R.L., tech. ed. Integrated restoration of forested ecosystems to achieve multiresource benefits: proceedings of the 2007 national silviculture workshop; 2007 May 7-10; Ketchikan, AK. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-733. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station: 37-47.

Abstract

In the U.S. we increasingly restrict wood production in the name of sustainability while going abroad for a growing share of the wood we consume, even though our own forest resources per capita are far greater than the global average. The unintended consequence is that we transfer impacts (positive and negative) of our timber harvesting and wood consumption to other places. This is not sustainable in the broad sense of the word. Seven key concepts help define limits on sustainable forestry in the U.S.: (1) we must ensure sustained timber yield; (2) most people find harvesting unaesthetic and prefer not to see it; (3) in the U.S. we annually consume the equivalent of about 20 billion cubic feet of wood products; (4) the U.S. is a net importer of wood and has been for at least 90 years; (5) as we import wood and wood products we also export to other nations the environmental, economic, and other social consequences (both the positive and negative) associated with wood production, manufacturing, and consumption; (6) as a natural resource, wood is generally preferable to alternative commodities; and (7) all the wood consumed on Earth must be produced from the 9.6 billion acres of forestland on the planet.

Citation

Shifley, Stephen R. 2008. Fairly sustainable forestry: seven key concepts for defining local sustainability in a global ecosystem. In: Deal, R.L., tech. ed. Integrated restoration of forested ecosystems to achieve multiresource benefits: proceedings of the 2007 national silviculture workshop; 2007 May 7-10; Ketchikan, AK. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-733. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station: 37-47.

Last updated on: April 14, 2008