We have a lot to be proud of in this industry. Here are the top five reasons I’m #ForestProud:
#1 – Timber keeps the Pacific Northwest green—in more ways than one! Roughly one-third of all forestland in Oregon and Washington is privately owned. The decision to keep these forests as forests decade after decade is thanks in no small part to the global market for sustainable wood products. Here in Oregon, roughly 92% of the land that was forested in the mid-19th century is still forested today despite significant population growth and increased demand for residential and agricultural development. Keeping these forests as forests is good for wildlife, water quality, and overall quality of life here in the Pacific Northwest. The forest sector also just happens to be one of the oldest renewable industries in the region, helping society meet a variety of needs from housing and energy to paper and packaging in a sustainable way.
#2 – Timber helps combat climate change. Our industry helps fight climate change in two main ways. First, we plant 3-4 trees for each one we harvest and as those trees grow, they draw CO2 out of the atmosphere. When those trees are harvested decades later and made into lumber, much of that carbon is stored and kept from re-entering the atmosphere. Secondly, new engineered wood products, including cross-laminated timber (CLT), allow us to safely build high-rise buildings from wood, instead of iron, steel and concrete, products that account for some of the largest sources of industrial CO2 emissions in the U.S. Substituting renewable wood products for these traditional building materials means less harmful CO2 entering the atmosphere in the first place.
#3 – We grow local, make local, and build local. At a time when it seems we’re getting further and further removed from the production systems that support our lifestyles, timber is keeping it local. While much of our food travels hundreds even thousands of miles to fill grocery shelves and so much domestic manufacturing is being sent overseas, our forests are still here, supporting local wood manufacturing jobs that create the products that stock home stores and lumber yards throughout the region. Walk into just about any home in the Pacific Northwest and you can be assured local forests framed it.
#4 – We’ve come a long way. As modern descendants of one of the oldest industries in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve learned a lot and grown with the times and with the science and technology. Many timber and wood products companies, like Hampton, have been in business for generations. It is through continual learning, improvement, and adaptation that we have found resilience.
#5 – Timber helped make the Pacific Northwest what it is today and continues to influence its economy and its culture. You see it in the Portland Timbers soccer club, the lumberjack on your beer coaster, and at any one of the rural logging festivals that take place each summer. Timber is part of what makes the Pacific Northwest unique.
What makes you #ForestProud?