U.S forest area has been increasing by over 1,200 NFL football fields every day! [1]

Paper loves trees

The paper industry depends on and promotes sustainable forest management to provide a reliable supply of wood fiber, the key raw material for its products. Well-managed forests result in important benefits for society, such as livelihoods, ecosystem services and biodiversity. Continuing demand for paper and other wood products is an indispensable economic incentive for maintaining healthy, forested lands rather than converting them to non-forest uses.

Between 2007 and 2017, net forest area in the U.S. expanded by about 2%, from 752 million to 766 million acres. [2]

Canada’s total forest area was quite stable between 1990 and 2017, decreasing only about 0.5%, from 860 million to 857 million acres. This was caused primarily by the expansion of agriculture, roads, hydroelectric power and urban development. [3]

More trees are regrown than harvested annually in both the U.S. and Canada. [4]

Tree harvesting occurs on less than 2% of total U.S. forestland each year, and on 0.2% of forestland in Canada. In contrast, nearly 3% of U.S. forestland and 4.5% of Canadian forestland is disturbed annually by natural events like insects, disease and fire. [5]

Certification provides verification of legal, sustainable forest practices. Roughly half of the total global area of certified forests – around 531 million acres - is in North America.

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), 2018

U.S. forest area is expected to increase from about 677 million acres to 690 million acres in 2030 and slowly decline to 684 million acres by 2050 as demand for urban development and other non-forest uses expand.

USDA Forest Service, 2016

Conversion of forests to agricultural land is the major cause of deforestation in Canada. Urban development is the primary cause of deforestation in the United States. U.S. urban land area increased 44% between 1990 and 2010.

Natural Resources Canada, 2019; USDA Forest Service, 2016

Well-managed Forests Result in Important Benefits for Society

Forests directly affect the livelihoods of 20% of the global population and can have recreational and cultural importance too. They provide products and renewable energy as well as natural carbon capture and storage and other ecosystem services such as controlling floods and droughts, reducing erosion risks and protecting watersheds that are a source of our water. Forests are also home to 80% of terrestrial biodiversity. [6]

When sustainably managed, forests are healthy, productive, resilient and renewable ecosystems which provide essential goods and services to people worldwide. [7]

  1. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s 2020 Global Forest Resources Assessment, U.S. forest area expanded by an average of 605,000 acres per year between 1990 and 2020. An NFL football field is 1.32 acres in size.
  2. USDA Forest Service, 2019
  3. Natural Resources Canada, 2019
  4. USDA Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada, 2019
  5. USDA Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada, 2019
  6. Jenkins, et al, United Nations Forum on Forests, 2018
  7. United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2030 Briefing Note, 2017
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