New website shows how demand for paper products contributes to forest growth
An awareness campaign entitled Go Paper. Grow Trees (TM) from global paper and packaging company International paper gives consumers the facts on how using paper products makes a direct contribution to the health and growth of trees and the forests.
According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), a majority of the 750 million acres of U.S. forests are privately owned. These private owners -- mostly family tree farmers -- will ultimately determine what happens to the forestlands.
Sponsored by International Paper, Go Paper. Grow Trees. was created to connect readers to the challenges private landowners face in growing and maintaining healthy forests. For more information on the awareness campaign visit GoPaperGrowTrees.com. The interactive website provides numerous forestry facts and dispels many myths, along with offering other exciting multi-media tools, including a Go Paper. Grow Trees.(TM) video.
"It's important to understand that tree farmers and other private landowners plant about 4 million trees every day, which is about three to four times more than they harvest," said Teri Shanahan, IP's vice president, Commercial Printing. "By planting trees and managing forests responsibly, landowners are given the financial incentive they need to maintain and protect the valuable forest resources that provide benefits for present and future generations."
Without the income from tree farming, landowners face economic pressure to pay property taxes and replace lost revenue. A common outcome is converting forestlands to other uses such as agricultural crops that have shorter growing and cash cycles than forest products. Another tempting prospect is to sell the land for development. In either case, the forest is removed forever and so are the benefits of cleaner water, better air, wildlife habitat and biodiversity. Healthy forests are life-support systems -- and demand for paper products ensures landowners continue to farm trees.
"By providing a clearer understanding of who owns the forests and the challenges these landowners face, Go Paper. Grow Trees. is intended to correct misinformation and provide a realistic perspective on the role that paper products play in keeping our forests healthy and growing," added Shanahan. "Consumers continue to be environmentally conscious in the choices they make, so it's important they base their decisions on facts. The facts are paper products are a sustainable, renewable, recyclable and biodegradable resource -- and using paper products can actually lead to a healthier forest ecosystem and the demand for and growth of more trees."