How do private forests benefit us all?

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Private forests are ecological life-support systems...

How private forests benefit us all Healthy forests are our life-support systems. They provide a full suite of goods and services that are vital to human health and livelihood – natural assets we call ecosystem services. Using paper helps landowners afford to keep these ecosystems intact and healthy.

Two-thirds of the fresh water in the U.S. flows from forests to our faucets. The larger the forest cover, the more fresh water available. Forests also absorb CO2 and release oxygen. When we undervalue our forests, we are really undervaluing the air we breathe and the water we drink. In the U.S., private landowners are the keepers of more than half of these ecosystems. They are responsible for their upkeep, and they require an income to cover the necessary expenses. Growing trees for income allows them to use more sustainable forestry practices that increase the ecosystem value while providing a renewable resource for products we use every day such as paper.

"Sustainable forestry practices can increase the ability of forests to sequester atmospheric carbon while enhancing other ecosystem services, such as improved soil and water quality. Harvesting and regenerating forests can also result in net carbon sequestration in wood products and new forest growth." USDA FOREST SERVICE CARBON SEQUESTRATION