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Climate Smart Forestry

What is Climate Smart Forestry?

A collection of strategies and management actions that increase the carbon storage benefits from forests and the forest sector, in a way that also supports ecosystem services and cultural values. It 1) reduces carbon emissions, 2) increases forest resilience to climate change, and 3) supports forest economies by increasing forest productivity and incomes.

Amplifying the climate benefits of the forestry sector

Much of U.S. forestland is dedicated to commercial forestry— producing wood products, paper, fiber, and biofuels. Forestry and the continued economic value of wood’s supply chains are essential to maintaining forestland, supporting conservation projects, and protecting forests from land conversion.

As the building sector seeks to decarbonize construction, there has been increasing emphasis on the potential for buildings to store carbon, in long-lived wood products like mass timber and engineered wood, locking up potential emissions and protecting them from fire and natural decomposition.

However, there are questions about the full ecological impacts of increased timber production. What happens to forests and ecosystem services as production is scaled up quickly? Can this growth be achieved through climate-smart forest management? Who will benefit from the growth of mass timber? How will the transformation of this sector actually impact rural communities and tribal nations?

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