Everyone is green these days. Even the giant oil companies are flooding the airwaves with green marketing campaigns. It sounds promising, and many positive things seem to be taking shape in response to the climate challenge. But, if you look closely, much of it is less than it seems.
For example, forestry is at the center of the climate change equation. Forests sequester enormous amounts of carbon. The larger the trees are in a forest, the more carbon is held per acre.
Since the early 1990’s, a fast-growing “Sustainable Forestry” worldwide movement has been making positive inroads. A handful of organizations now “certify” many millions of acres of forestland as “sustainably harvested”. Standards vary, but, certification requires overall improvements in forestry practices away from the old “industrial models”. Sustainable forestry is helping many forests around the world reverse degradation and in some cases rehabilitate deteriorated stands to a limited degree.
Unfortunately, if you study the numbers, it’s clear even the most stringent sustainable forestry standards will have only a modest impact in the climate change equation. Climate cooling carbon sequestration numbers are easy to calculate for any parcel of forestland. For example, in California’s Redwood forest, several large forestland owners are certified sustainable. These sustainably harvested forests are harvested at approximately 20% of the standing timber volume per decade. An average quality young stand of Redwoods adds about 30 to 35% per decade in net new wood volume. As it ages, this rate of growth slows. If cut at 20% per decade, the young stand will add a modest amount of net volume for a few decades and then level out. The forest will then be maintained as a healthy and robust stand of trees of average size with few if any large or old trees.
If, on the other hand, the rate of cut is limited to 10% in any one decade, the forest will retain more than 3 times the wood volume per acre over the coming century than if “sustainably harvested” at 20% per decade. Forestland managed at this more conservative rate will grow ancient trees again over time and make a large contribution to global cooling. This is the central tenet in “Restoration Forestry”.
We are Old-Growth Again Restoration Forestry. Our mission is to fully restore the volume and productivity of our forestlands and bring back the big trees. Parklands are lovely and necessary, but we can’t turn all the forests of the world into parklands because the cost would be exorbitant. Restoration forestry allows you to cut conservatively while also bringing back the large ancient trees. In our 14th year, our forests are a testament to what can be accomplished. Your furniture purchases through the years fund the hard work.
To read more about our forestry practices, please go to: