Faces of the Forest: Meet the Defrees Family of Oregon
How do you sustainably manage a 2,000 acre forest and ranch in Oregon? To find out, watch this short video from Paper & Packaging - How Life Unfolds.
Not only does this story show how several generations of the Defrees family have dedicated their lives to caring for a beautiful piece of land, it also reiterates key facts about the sustainable features of print and paper products, such as:
- Private forests provide more than 90% of U.S. wood and paper products.
- The income landowners receive for trees grown on their land encourages them to maintain, sustainably manage and renew this valuable resource. This is an especially important consideration in places facing economic pressures to convert forestland to non-forest uses.
- 58% of the 766 million acres of U.S. forestland (444 million acres) are privately owned. Of this private forest land, 62% (260 million acres) are owned by families and individuals in what we call “family forests.” The millions of America’s family forest owners are diverse, dynamic and pivotal for the protection and sustainable management of forests across the landscape.
- Over the last 60 years, the net total U.S. forest area has increased by over 3% and the net volume of trees on forestland has increased by 58%. A more recent statistic by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization reports U.S. forest growth between 2005 and 2015 at 1,319 000 acres per year, which is equal to 21,901 tennis courts per day!
- Avoiding the use of wood is not the way to protect forests for the long term. While saving trees and protecting forests is a widely shared goal, avoiding the use of wood is not necessarily the way to get there. It is precisely the areas of the world that consume the least wood that continue to experience the greatest forest loss. Continued use of paper and other wood products may be a key factor in maintaining a forested landscape for future generations.
For sources and more facts, see Paper Supports Sustainable Forest Management ; Why Challenge Anti-paper Environmental Marketing Claims; Infographic - Paper and Sustainable Forestry.
Think of all this next time you see claims like "Go Paperless - Save Trees!" Far from causing deforestation, the demand for sustainably-sourced paper in the U.S. promotes responsibly managed forests, which provide many environmental, social and economic benefits.
Phil has over 28 years of international experience related to sustainability and the forest products industry. He currently leads Two Sides North America, a non-profit that promotes the unique sustainable features of print and paper, as well as their responsible production and use. Two Sides operates globally in five continents with members that span the entire graphic communication value chain. Phil has written extensively on sustainability and environmental topics related to the forest products sector. He received his Bachelor and Master's of Science degrees from McGill University in Montreal. He is a private forest owner and sustainably manages over 200 acres of forestland for both recreational and economic benefits.