Michigan forests are a key component in fighting climate change. In fact, so is responsible forestry.
Forests are the lungs of the planet, effectively storing and converting carbon emissions into the air and expelling oxygen. Irresponsible logging habits, especially clear-cutting and industrial-scale deforestation certainly do have a dramatically negative impact on the environment. Luckily, many foresters understand that by planning harvests, we can actually improve the overall health of the woodlands and the planet at the same time.
One big element in this process is the age of trees. Across most species, trees can absorb a relatively finite amount of carbon. The amount varies widely, but there is one reliable trait, and that’s that each tree can only store so much carbon. Therefore, older trees are markedly less effective in sequestering carbon than younger trees.
Being conscious of this fact as an important variable in planning a harvest can help foresters like Silver Leaf Sawmill to slowly step up our region’s ability to store carbon and reduce overall levels of the pollutant in our atmosphere. Careful forestry at the local, state, federal, and even international levels is a vital component to taking every step possible to meet climate change goals around the world.
Forestry and land management could also play a role in Michigan and federal cap-and-trade policies like those already in place in California and some other states. It would allow companies to purchase credits assigned to carbon emissions, some of which may count as storage in state forests. This step may be a few years away, but it’s an interesting component in what looks to be an important project to push forward.
Responsible, planned harvesting has a positive role in the future of our planet.
Want to learn about how forestry can offer sustainability? Give us a call!