Reconnecting People and Forests
Careers, Forest Products

Standing Proud

You grow through what you go through. And through it all, we'll be here. Standing proud.

We’re a community that knows a thing or two about growth, and regrowth.

More than 30+ years ago, we planted trees and cared for forests that are being used today to help meet the demands of a global crisis. But providing essential products - face masks, protective equipment, testing components - is really only half the story.

Our people - their commitment to safety, the environment, and to a better future. That’s what makes this possible. It’s why we’ll always remain committed to keeping forests as forests. We plant and regrow trees to ensure that the world can continue to rely on us for innovative and essential solutions to whatever challenges the next 30 years holds for us.

#forestproud.

Clouds and Sun Illustration
Fast Facts
Fast Facts, Recreation

Responsible Recreation

It's more important now than ever to take care of our mental and physical health.

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Reconnecting People and Forests
Careers, Forest Products, Products

Thank You to Paper and Wood Products Employees

We all rely on paper products for our daily lives. The employees at paper and wood products mills across the country are safely and sustainably manufacturing the goods we need– from tissue and hygiene products, packaging for food, pharmaceuticals and other consumer products, paper for notebooks and coloring, specialty paper for medical supplies, building products and shipping containers and more.

American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) members have no higher priority than the safety of our people, and we are humbled by those who are showing up big to make the products we rely on.

Thank you.

Reconnecting People and Forests
Forest Management, Products

Explore How Paper Is Made

Meet the Paper Machine! As long as a football field, this machine is just one of many processes, machines, and people working behind the scenes at Georgia Pacific to create paper and packaging products used in our daily lives.

Image of Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell sitting next to a piano in the woods
Reconnecting People and Forests
Conservation, Forest Management, People

Exploring America’s Forests: Oregon

Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell combines two of his passions – music and trees – to bring stories of sustainable forestry to the public on “America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell.”

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Reconnecting People and Forests
Careers, Conservation, Fire, Forest Management, People, Wildlife

Restoring Habitat And Creating Jobs Through Western Juniper

"The hill that was always known as Bald Hill was totally covered in Juniper." Discover Oregon’s effort to restore habitat for sage grouse and create jobs by harvesting Western Juniper. Collaboration efforts like this one protect Oregon's forests and create rural jobs.

For more information visit: www.WesternJuniper.org

Image of four foresters looking at a hand-held device together in the woods
Reconnecting People and Forests
Biomass + Renewable Energy, Forest Management, Innovation

Technology To The Rescue

People are bad at random – we even have a tendency to find patterns where no intentional pattern exists. So, when forest managers are working to recreate the complex, seemingly random patterns found in nature, how do they do it?

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Reconnecting People and Forests
Carbon + Climate Change, Fire, Forest Management, People

FORESTS IN FOCUS | Central Oregon

Roseburg, Ore. – Restoring central Oregon’s federal forests is a big important job, requiring a  diverse group of stakeholders working together to create science-guided solutions that strive for balance, landscape scale and local economic benefits. Too many small trees crowd the landscape, putting homes and property at risk from intense wildfires. But what to do about it? This six-minute video showcases how stakeholders are working to restore central Oregon’s forests and make them more fire-resilient.

“The forests in central Oregon are adapted to fire,” said Pete Caliguiri, a fire ecologist with The Nature Conservancy. “With 450,000 acres of forest in need of restoration, it is important that we learn how to scale up our efforts. Sound science should continue to guide us.”

Forest restoration is expensive and results in a lot of by-products with varying degrees of commercial value. Finding markets for less valuable by-products from restoration projects, such as small trees and brush, would lower costs and create more local jobs.

“Ideally we’d have markets for the small trees and biomass that result from these treatments,” said Nicole Strong, assistant professor at Oregon State University’s College of Forestry.

“There’s a lot of opportunity to create markets for some of these by-products like firewood, post and poles, pellets and wood chips for heat and power,” said Ed Keith, Deschutes County Forester.

“Forest restoration creates a lot of benefits: reduced fire risk to communities, improved economics and utilization of the by-products and improved forest ecology,” Stowe added. “We’ll never get the forest back to where it was before we mucked it up. But we can get it headed in the right direction, and it will be a better forest for everyone.”

The video was produced by the Oregon Department of Forestry with generous funding provided by the USDA Forest Service.

Image of a forest covered mountain
Reconnecting People and Forests
Biomass + Renewable Energy, Carbon + Climate Change, Careers, Forest Management, Innovation, People, Products

LOOK UP | The Future Of Forests Anthem

We’ve pulled together six pioneers of the forest community to have a conversation about innovation, challenges and the future of wood.

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Reconnecting People and Forests
Fire, Forest Management, People

Restoration in a Fire Forest: The Benefits of Burning

Who are the people in yellow setting fires in Oregon's dry forests? Wildfire has historically played an important role in the health and structure of Oregon's dry forests. Prescribed fire is a valuable tool used to restore forest health, increase firefighter safety, and better protect nearby human resources in these fire-adapted landscapes. The Northwest Fire Science Consortium's new video showcases the role of prescribed fire.

Image of trees under blue sky
Reconnecting People and Forests
Careers, Conservation, Fire, Forest Management, People, Wildlife

Restoring Habitat And Creating Jobs Through Western Juniper

Discover Oregon’s effort to restore habitat for sage grouse and create jobs by harvesting Western Juniper. Collaboration efforts like this one protect Oregon's forests and create rural jobs.

Watch this next
Reconnecting People and Forests
Careers, Products

The Crew

The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work. – Thomas Edison

Innovation and new technology allow us to operate faster, safer, and more efficiently - creating new products and solutions for a society that is constantly on the move. Forest products manufacturing looks very different than it did 100 years ago.

But behind the fancy machines and the new technology - at the heart of these organizations – is a group of skilled, dedicated, and hardworking individuals who make it all possible.

A group who takes pride in their work creating natural, renewable, and sustainable solutions. A group that knows they're making a difference.

In that sense, nothing has changed at all.

#forestproud

How many people are part of the forest community?
Community
Fast Facts
Fast Facts, Forest Management

Fast Facts | Who is part of the forest community?

Who is part of the forest community? HINT: It's more people than you think, and probably includes you!

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Reconnecting People and Forests
Biomass + Renewable Energy, Forest Management, Innovation

Technology To The Rescue

People are bad at random – we even have a tendency to find patterns where no intentional pattern exists (seeing a face in the stones on a wall is a common example). So, when forest managers are working to recreate the complex, seemingly random patterns found in nature, how do they do it?

They start with science and statistics. Yes – statistics can help you get surprisingly close to the complexity of nature (see my recent blog for background). Even so, after you determine what a more natural forest would look like in your area, there’s the challenge of implementing that on the ground. 

I’m joining the Tapash Forest Collaborative for a workshop organized by the Nature Conservancy’s Ryan Haugo and led by the University of Washington’s Derek Churchill to see first-hand how a new app allows them to recreate spatially diverse, resilient forests on the ground.

" We realized we need to do something with these stands, or we’ll lose them all to insects, disease, and wildfire. "

Rod Pfeifle

We gather in Cle Elum, Washington to learn about the science behind restoring a forest to a more natural pattern of individual trees, tree clumps and forest openings (ICO). During the workshop local foresters have an opportunity to practice using QuickMap, a forestry app created by Churchill’s team to implement the ICO approach to ecological restoration thinning in dry western forests.

In the conference room, we look at aerial images and stem maps of old-growth forests in similar climates – these will provide the reference conditions for the healthy mosaic we hope to restore. Looking at the aerial images of forests and stem maps of the individual trees, clumps and openings, I can easily see the difference between a homogenous patch and one that’s spatially diverse.

From Churchill et al. 2013 used with permission.

In the Thick of It

However, once we arrive in a large clearing among Douglas firs and Ponderosa pines, the old saw about not seeing the forest for the trees becomes all too real. How will we decide which trees need to be thinned without the benefit of a birds-eye view? Undaunted, the forestry professionals around me gather for a briefing on the plans for this forest.

Rod Pfeifle of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife leads with background on the forest and management goals for the future.

“The last harvest in this stand was 35 to 40 years ago. We realized we need to do something with these stands, or we’ll lose them all to insects, disease, and wildfire,” Pfeifle said.

This forest is being managed for conservation and wildlife habitat. The planned management will be mechanical thinning hopefully followed by burning, so we’ll need to mark which trees will not be cut in order to recreate a resilient spatial patchwork – yes, under some circumstances, thinning forests can be better for conservation in the long term.

We are instructed to keep any very old or very large trees. Another important goal is to keep and create wildlife trees, dead or unusually shaped trees that birds and other wildlife rely on for nesting and foraging opportunities. If there aren’t any around, we can mark trees that have a “catface” or scar to let tree removal crews know they should remove the top of the tree, but leave a “snag” behind, which will become a new wildlife tree.

Image of frog in woods on the ground
The pacific chorus frog, one of the many wild animals supported by the dry forests of the Pacific Northwest. Photo © The Nature Conservancy (Hannah Letinich)

Some threatened spotted owls still live not far from this area, so we’re keeping an eye out for and preserving any areas that could be good habitat for them to expand to in the future.

Keeping all of this in mind, we’ll use QuickMap to decide how many trees we need to remove and which trees we should keep in order to recreate a resilient spatial mosaic in this forest.

QuickMap to the Rescue

Each team gets a tablet with the QuickMap app and a few cans of neon orange paint. Measuring tape is also a must, but these foresters come prepared, the typical “uniform” includes a utility belt complete with tape measurer and a spot to hang a paint sprayer, a hard hat, and a safety vest with built in pockets all around the bottom.

Image of a person holding a specific tool used by foresters
The tools of the trade for forestry specialists. Photo © The Nature Conservancy (Hannah Letinich)

We huddle around to look at the app and discuss the layout and goals for our five-acre practice plot (pine forest surrounding a rocky clearing on a slope).

The app has already been updated with information about how many individual trees and clumps a naturally diverse five-acre plot in this area would be statistically likely to contain.

As we ascend, the group discusses which trees to mark as “leave trees” (those that will not be removed). Leave trees are marked with paint, measured, and the data is entered in the app as individuals or clumps – the number of trees in a clump and the average diameter is also recorded. QuickMap uses a color coded system to let crews on the ground know in real time as they approach an appropriate number of individual trees and clumps for the reference areas.

Image of four foresters looking at a hand-held device together in the woods
Foresters practice using the QuickMap app. Photo © The Nature Conservancy (Hannah Letinich)

It’s not important that each team have exactly the number of recommended individuals and clumps for their region. Depending on factors like soil conditions and wildlife goals, some groups end up preserving more clumps, while others preserve more individual trees – the more acres that are covered, the more the final result averages out to create a diverse spatial mosaic that will keep the forest resilient to fires, pests, and a changing climate.

Even though it’s our first time using the app, our five-acres are mapped in just a couple of hours. An experienced two-person team can mark 10-20 acres in just one day. The app is still being improved, but once it is complete Churchill will make it freely available so that people in different places can adapt it to their needs and make it their own. Speed is of the essence since millions of acres of America’s forests are too dense compared to reference conditions, making them prone to uncharacteristically severe fire and disease.

It will take time for tree removal and for the forest to take over the job – growing, seeding new areas, and dying back from others – but the ICO approach gives the forest a head start at creating healthier, more resilient conditions.

image of a stream
Fast Facts
Fast Facts, Forest Benefits, Forest Management

Fast Facts | Forests + Water

More than half of the drinking water in the U.S. comes from a forest.

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Reconnecting People and Forests
Careers, Forest Benefits, Forest Management, People, Wildlife

Protecting Nature, Jobs, And Tradition

Upstate New York’s Tug Hill region, also known as Tug Hill Plateau, is known for its timber industry, snowfall, and traditional northern forest outdoor recreational opportunities. Nestled within Tug Hill is the Town of Redfield—one of the many communities that depend on the area’s working forest landscape for economic support. In 2017, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) and The Conservation Fund protected the 3,236-acre Kendall property—located in Redfield and Orwell, a large property identified as a priority in the NYS Open Space Plan.

Protection of Kendall Forest ensures ongoing timber resource production, safeguards water quality of the environmentally sensitive and economically important Salmon River and allows for continued public access to recreational opportunities, such as hunting and snowmobiling.

Image of fire burning among trees
Reconnecting People and Forests
Fire, Forest Management, People

Restoration in a Fire Forest: The Benefits of Burning

The Northwest Fire Science Consortium's new video showcases the role of prescribed fire.

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Reconnecting People and Forests
Carbon + Climate Change, Fire, Forest Management

WILDFIRE | Fire and Our Forests

Megafires are devastating our forests and our communities. Find out what you can do to help stop them. We all have a part to play.

For a look at what it takes to put it all on the line to protect our forests and keep our communities safe, hear from Naomi Mills, a smokejumper with the USDA Forest Service.

The “Firewise Communities” effort, Ready, Set, Go and our podcast guests from Chelan County Fire District offer some great community protocols regarding fire safety and keeping yourself safe. For more wildfire facts, check out our Wildfire | Fast Facts.

Image of four foresters looking at a hand-held device together in the woods
Reconnecting People and Forests
Biomass + Renewable Energy, Forest Management, Innovation

Technology To The Rescue

People are bad at random – we even have a tendency to find patterns where no intentional pattern exists. So, when forest managers are working to recreate the complex, seemingly random patterns found in nature, how do they do it?

Read this next