2007 Annual Report

21st Century Vision for Sustainable Forestry

Photo of Mark Doumit

Forestry as a Preferred Land Use

A message from Mark Doumit, Executive Director, WFPA

The private landowner members of WFPA believe that sustainable forestry is a preferred land use. What exactly do we mean by forestry as a “preferred land use”? We mean that where it is appropriate to actively manage our forests, responsible forestry is an ideal land use because it provides the benefits, goods and services society wants – clean water and air, wildlife habitat, open space, wood products and jobs that are especially important to rural economies.

Our forests provide important social, environmental, and economic values that are important to all of us. But even without the direct economic benefits, forestry is a preferred land use because:

  • Forests that stay in production aren’t converted to other uses. This means green spaces stay intact.
  • The recreation opportunities of forests are available.
  • The value of conducting research to preserving wildlife habitat is leveraged by an industry with an economic stake in the resource that creates that habitat. Who else would pay for ongoing wildlife habitat research in a time of declining government resources if the timber industry didn’t exist?
  • The timber industry in Washington has demonstrated that it can and does collaborate with environmental advocates to protect fish and wildlife habitat. What other industry has successfully demonstrated its ability to address such compelling economic and social values?
  • Growing trees store carbon and forestry is part of the solution to addressing climate change issues.

Our challenge at WFPA is to help the people of our state understand the real value and meaning of forestry as a preferred land use. Washington is the only state with a state-based regulatory system, which was developed through collaboration and the application of science, and endorsed by the federal government for its aquatic protections. The Forests & Fish Law is evidence that we can meet the challenge and further the mission of keeping sustainable forestry a preferred land use.

This is an exciting time to be working for the forest industry. Washington continues to lead the way in developing balanced approaches that derive a wide range of social, environmental and economic value from our forests.

See how Washington is the model for sustainable forestry

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