The Future of Forestry: Importance of Forestry in the Pacific Northwest

November 25, 2013

In the spring of 2009, the Denman Forestry Issues Series was presented by the College of Forest Resources (now the School of Forest Resources in the new College of the Environment) at the University of Washington. The series featured 10 professors and a post-doctoral scientist from Forest Resources exploring the “Future of Forestry in the Pacific Northwest.” The first session includes presentations by Dean Bruce Bare examining the past and future of forestry in the Pacific Northwest, Professor of Marketing and International Trade Ivan Eastin considering the value of diversifying markets for forest products, and Professor of Forest Ecology Jerry Franklin discussing ecosystem services and environmental concerns. The Denman Forestry Issues series is intended to educate the public about topical issues in forest resources in the Pacific Northwest, as well as provide information to natural resource specialists and students. More than half of Washington state is forested, so trees are a familiar sight for its residents, particularly in western Washington. Our forests provide lumber and other forest products, clean water for drinking, salmon and wildlife habitat, as well as aesthetic and recreational opportunities. Forests must continue to fulfill these needs for society, but how can we ensure they do so in a way that is sustainable for future generations in the face of population increase, increasing urbanization, declining forest health, global warming and other threats to the forest? The science and practice of forestry is very complicated and multifaceted, and is always changing. The dynamics of land ownership further complicates forest management. Forests and forestry will continue to be important in the future of Washington state, but both must be managed sustainably. Research and education conducted by faculty and students at the University of Washington will help us accomplish this.