Steel? Plastics? These are non-renewable resources.
During the last few years, the steel industry has been marketing steel studs to the housing industry. Their advertising suggests that by using steel studs in our homes, we’ll be saving trees. It fails to mention that North American forests are sustainable and grow renewable products. Trees are renewable. If you take one out of the forest, you can grow another.
When looking at the future of our woodlands, what society needs from our forests is not preservation in the sense that the forest should never be touched by man’s hand, but rather, conservation. The practice of sustaining our forests to provide social as well as ecological benefits is critical. The unintended consequences of the past ten years of policies to shut down forests with good ecologically-sustainable logging is going to catch up with us.
As a recent Wisconsin Forest Inventory shows, growth exceeds removals in the state despite the aspen decline and a change in our oak forests of the southwest into hardwood forests. The state continues to grow more than we harvest. This is critical to our business for our future raw material needs. I am optimistic about the ability of our forests to provide us with logs and pulp for not only us, but also future generations.