A better way to save


High Country News has an ad stating, "Together, we can save a forest" (HCN, 4/14/14), encouraging subscribers to elect email over snail mail and suggesting this could save a forest. Ads like this perpetuate the myth that paper use is leading to the loss of forestland. This takes the spotlight off the real threats to U.S. forests.

Over half of forestlands in the U.S. are privately owned. Landowners have to weigh the value of their forestlands against the real estate market. Urbanization and population growth (as well as climate change and invasive species) provide real threats, too. The ability to make a good profit from renewable timber provides an incentive to keep forests as forests.

Those who wish to "save a forest" should support conservation easements and purchase products coming from responsibly managed forests, certified by organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council.

Jeffrey Wilzbacher
Boulder, Colorado

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