It is probably apparent, but wood is one of our favorite natural resources. Having a wooden floor brings the warmth and coziness of nature into your home. With any natural resource comes the responsibility to use it wisely, and that is what we’ll look at today; sustainability in forestry.
Wood over the years has been a resource for energy, construction, shelter, and even communication (wood pulp is a key component in paper). A resource this valuable requires protection, and so we can find that conservation was practiced as far back as the Roman Empire.
On the other hand, there have been times when conservation was not practiced and the result was deforestation or depletion. Longleaf pine is an example of this. It is only available as reclaimed lumber since the species was nearly wiped out by the early 20th century.
Things have changed for the better. There are many organizations and initiatives that have resulted in better management of forests. Here are some of the different things that are balanced and considered in forest sustainability:
- Healthy ecosystems and forests
- Land Management
- Hazard Prevention
- Preserving endangered species
- The wildlife dependent on forests and even specific species of trees
- Products made from wood
- Jobs and economics of the forest industry
- National and global development involving lumber
For more information on how the wood flooring industry is involved in sustainability, check out NWFA’s Responsible Procurement Program and NWFA’s Truax, a free download for children about forest management .