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What is Sustainable Forest Management?

Updated: Jan 6

Sustainable Forest Management strives to maintain and grow healthy forest ecosystems for the future while at the same time cultivating and using forest resources to meet our needs.


Forests are an amazing resource, and wood from this resource is found in thousands of products we use every day. Wood from sustainably grown trees is renewable and recyclable. If appropriately managed, forests can provide us with excellent resources for generations to come.


Sustainable Forest Management is a holistic approach that is all about achieving balance – managing a balance between three pillars to achieve sustainability and meet our needs: economic, social-cultural, and environmental.

  • Environmental Needs:

  • Maintain healthy, sustainable forests for the future

  • Preserve and enhance wildlife habitat

  • Decrease forest fires risk

  • Aid in the fight against climate change

  • And more… (Learn More: Working to Protect Montana’s Forests Through Responsible Management)

  • Social-Cultural Needs: Forests are essential centers for lifestyle, health, culture, spiritualism, learning, and development.

  • Economic Needs: Forests sustain individuals and communities by providing a source of food, fuel, clean water, livelihoods and industry.

“…more than 25 percent of the world’s people—nearly 1.6 billion—rely on forest resources for their livelihoods, with 1.2 billion of them using trees to generate food and cash. The economic value of these ecosystem services has been estimated at $33 trillion per year, twice the GDP of the United States.” The Rainforest Alliance


The demands on our forests are only increasing, but through sustainable forest management, we can achieve balance among these pillars and ensure the health of our forests for future generations.


Achieving balance is by no means an easy task, but it is necessary. It requires collaboration and cooperation among diverse groups, organizations, and communities; establishing laws, regulations, and best practices; and education, scientific research, and technological advancements.


The Montana Logging Association and Montana Timber Legacy Foundation are doing their part. By working to help Montana achieve this balance through the establishment and education of sustainable timber harvesting best practices, standards, and principles that uphold its commitment as stewards of Montana's forests, we are ensuring generations of healthy forests for future Montanans


More Resources:

- Oregon Forest Resources Institute

- Sustainable Forestry Initiative

- USDA – Forest Products Laboratory


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