I was proud to be featured as a guest columnist in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Sunday, June 15 with a piece called ‘Help lawmakers see the forests.’ It raises important points about the economic and environmental value of our private and public forest lands, and the natural and political threats facing them today.
Below is an excerpt from the piece. To read the whole piece, click the link above, or the image below.
Our forests, both private and public, offer us a bounty of things that make our region desirable to live, work and visit. The Native Americans and first settlers used this abundant resource in every part of their life, it provided them shelter and food. Ultimately, our forests were the resource used to drive the first local economies. Today, these trees are a part of our forest products industry that is responsible for approximately 67,500 jobs with an annual payroll of $2.7 billion dollars in North Carolina. (http://cnr.ncsu.edu/blogs/wpe/2013/08/01/north-carolinas-forest-products-industry-is-an-economic-engine/). They are also one of primary factors that bring people to our region to enjoy the clean air/water that make hiking, camping, hunting and fishing so desired. Suffice it to say, our forests are a major economic driver in our state.