Forest products industry, environmental and conservation leaders have announced an agreement of principles on the important role sustainably managed forests and forest products can play in mitigating climate change.

The principles were signed by the CEOs of 43 forest industry businesses representing more than 46 million acres of working forests across the U.S., along with CEOs of American Forests, American Forest Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, National Alliance of Forest Owners and The Nature Conservancy.

The policy principles encourage incentive and market-based approaches to increase the carbon benefits of working forests and forest products. They recognize the important role that private sector participation, investment and partnerships can play in expanding carbon benefits from the forest sector. They also emphasize the need for robust science, data and life cycle analysis to guide policy.

Forest owners and forest products manufacturers are well positioned to optimize the carbon potential of the private working forest value chain through sustainable forest management and the manufacture of sustainable forest products. However, private forests are under increasing threat from uncharacteristic wildfire, pests and disease, drought and extreme weather events that can cause significant carbon releases and other environmental damage. In many private forests, addressing these threats requires sustainable management such as thinning, prescribed fire, and other forest management techniques that bolster forest health and resilience.

Some of the signees include J. Travis Bryant,President & CEO, Coastal Forest Resources Co.; Marc Brinkmeyer, Owner, Idaho Forest Group; James Irving, Co-CEO, J.D. Irving, Ltd.; Bob Lyle, President, Molpus Woodlands Group; Mike Covey, Chairman and CEO, PotlatchDeltic; David Nunes, President and CEO, Rayonier, Inc.; Grady Mulbery, President and CEO, Roseburg Forest Products; Mark Emmerson, Chairman and CFO, Sierra Pacific Industries; Brian Luoma, President and CEO, The Westervelt Co.; Steve Killgore, CEO, Timber Products Co.; Devin Stockfish, President and CEO, Weyerhaeuser.