For those who work directly or indirectly with forestry here in Washington, it’s self-evident why our forests are important – seeing is believing.
But what about people who aren’t directly connected to forestry through the work they or a family member does? How important is working forestry to them? Very important, it turns out, because forestry touches all of our lives in important and diverse ways.
In a recent phone poll of Washingtonians, an overwhelming 89% of respondents said that working forests are important to them personally.
That’s nearly 9 out of 10 Washingtonians who believe that working forests play some important role in their lives. In Eastern or Western Washington, on the Olympic Peninsula or in King County, the feeling is shared by the overwhelming majority. It’s about as universal as opinions get around here.
We think the reason why people feel so strongly is easily understood: active working forests are our most effective partner in things we all care about such as protecting critical fish and wildlife habitat, having a supply of renewable and sustainably grown wood, and maintaining forest health to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire.
We think people are telling us that they believe us when we say that working forests really are working for all of us.
It might also be that we intuitively know that forest ownership breeds passionate stewardship that is vital for the future of our forests.
Here’s what the U.S. Forest Service found when it studied family forest owners nationwide:
“Family forest owners have a great, great love of their land and almost all of them want to do what is right by the land,” said Brett Butler, a research forester with the Forest Service and the study’s lead author.
In accomplishing all of these things, and more, we’re a part of many solutions Washington cares about.