There is a common misconception that America’s forests are disappearing. However, there are facts that invalidate this false impression. According to the Western Wood Products Association (WWPA), forest growth in the U.S. has exceeded harvest continually since the 1940s and forest inventory has actually increased by 39 percent since 1952. The U.S. plants approximately 2 billion new trees a year. Also, the forest products industry is responsible for 41 percent of all replanted forest acreage. Because of this, there are 10 million more acres of forest land in the U.S. today than there were 15 years ago. Managed correctly and intensively, the world demand for wood products could be met by approximately 20 percent of current forest lands.
These sustainable forests are managed by various certification programs. These programs are non-profit and exist for the purpose of encouraging the trend in green products and building. They include the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), and SA Forestry. Each organization holds their own principles and criteria, but their standards remain the same: to promote sustainable forestry practices for the advancement of green building. In addition, there are more than 50 different forest certification systems in the world today that represent nearly 700 million acres of forest land.
Sustainability is internationally defined as ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. This principle will always be upheld through sustainable forestry practices.