by Patrick Moore, Ph.D.
I believe that trees are the answer to a lot of questions about our future. These include: How can we advance to a more sustainable economy based on renewable fuels and materials? How can we improve literacy and sanitation in developing countries while reversing deforestation and protecting wildlife at the same time? How can we pull carbon out of the atmosphere and reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emissions, carbon dioxide in particular? How can we increase the amount of land that will support a greater diversity of species? How can we help prevent soil erosion and provide clean air and water? How can we make this world more beautiful and green? The answer is, by growing more trees and then using more wood, both as a substitute for non-renewable fossil fuels and materials such as steel, concrete and plastic, and as paper products for printing, packaging and sanitation.
* About 100,000 men and women are employed in logging and forestry operations.
* The nation's logging and forestry payroll tops $3 billion.
* This industry generated 4.5% of total U.S. manufacturing GDP and is among the Top 10 manufacturers in 47 states.
* Every day the average American consumes the equivalent of a 14 pound block of wood.
* About 91% of this wood comes from America's privately owned managed forests.
* More than 56% of U.S. forests are privately owned.
* Thanks to private capital and advancements in the forest sciences the U.S. has 20% more forest than it did in 1970 and 2/3 as it had in 1620.
* Between 2000 and 2005 our nation's forested land base grew by two million acres.
Statistics taken from the article "The 'Invisible' Workforce" by Jim Petersen, a co-founder of the Evergreen Foundation, in the Fall 2013 issue of Timber Talk.
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