Good forest management begins with a strong rule of law, along with a general respect for rules and regulations, political stability, government effectiveness, appropriate regulatory quality and citizen accountability. Forest operations in the United States are governed by federal and state laws and regulations that guide the management of forests on private lands. With more than 26 federal statutes that cover everything from the protection of water, air, endangered plants and animals, along with a layer of state laws to fill in gaps at the local level, U.S. forests have become the solution to many environmental concerns. These policies have stood the test of time and offered assurance to the forest products industry and U.S. customers that the products they produce or purchase were sourced from well-managed forests.
Some international experts estimate that more than half of all logging activities in the most vulnerable forest regions on earth – Southeast Asia, Central Africa, South America, and Russia – are being conducted illegally. That’s not the case in the United States. Federal and state forest managers and private property owners understand that sustainable forest management is needed to achieve long-term sustainability and a healthy forest landscape for future generations.Simply put, the vast majority of all available wood in the United States is legally harvested and appropriately accounted for.