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Not all wood is the same.
Laws alone are not enough to protect wildlife habitat, limit use of hazardous chemicals, and protect rivers, lakes and streams from harmful effects of destructive forestry.
As an architect, builder or developer, how can you know that the wood you use comes from a forest that is managed responsibly?
The Forest Stewardship Council provides independent assurance that the wood you buy supports forests managed to the highest standards.
FSC balances the needs of all forest stakeholders – economic, social and environmental - through an open, member-led democracy.
The world’s most reputable environmental organizations - including the World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace, NRDC, National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, and The Nature Conservancy - plus countless corporate partners and governments - recognize FSC as the most trusted certification system for forest management.
Conventional harvest on steep slopes can result in landslides, especially after heavy rains. In this photo, landslides contributed sediment to the river below, which is likely home to salmon and other anadromous fish.
In Washington and Oregon, it is legal and common to see clearcuts of 120 acres or more, often with harmful impacts on drinking water and critical salmon habitat. FSC defines strong clearcut limitations where appropriate to protect forest ecology.
FSC goes beyond legal requirements to:
Protect wildlife habitat
Protect water quality
Tightly restrict use of hazardous chemicals
Ensure forests are managed at sustainable rates of growth and harvesting
Protect rare, old growth forests
Protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples
Fighting Climate Change
By using FSC-certified building products, projects sequester carbon on-site while also keeping more carbon in the forest. Recent research from Ecotrust shows that FSC-certified forests in Washington and Oregon store more carbon while still providing an ongoing supply of timber, when compared to forests managed to legal requirements alone.
Conventional forestry can actually release more carbon into the atmosphere. In fact, recent research finds that timber harvesting is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon.
Realizing The Potential Of Mass Timber
Mass timber is a category of framing styles often using large panelized solid wood construction including cross-laminated timber (CLT), NLT, DLT or glu-lam panels for floor and wall framing.
Mass timber - and particularly its use in tall wood buildings - is capturing the imagination of architects, engineers and developers who see it as a way to lessen the carbon footprint of the built environment, demonstrate ingenuity, and meet the same standards for safety and performance as any building type.
Heightened awareness of the environmental benefits of wood, combined with advances in wood technology and manufacturing, have aligned to make mass timber and tall wood buildings not only possible but safe and cost effective.
Mass timber’s potential to help restore forests, store carbon, put rural U.S. communities to work, and reduce costs for housing have ignited passions and fueled new coalitions. However, the full promise of mass timber cannot be realized without efforts to promote responsible forest management beyond what is required by federal and state law. As recent research shows, forest degradation and deforestation is a large contributor to greenhouse gas emissions globally.
This is why choosing FSC-certified wood is the only way to ensure use of mass timber lives up to environmental expectations and scrutiny.
By extending rotation lengths – the amount of time a tree is allowed to grow between harvests – it is possible to store more carbon in the forest and maintain volumes of timber for wood products.