One of the biggest impacts resulting from logging our forests that is largely ignored by public land management agencies is the contribution that timber harvest makes to Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. Increasingly it is clear that the greatest value of our public forests might be to end all thinning/logging and protect them as carbon reserves.
Logging/thinning woodlands whether justified to reduce wildfires, “restore” forests, or merely to produce wood fiber for the timber industry causes a net loss of carbon to the forest ecosystem.
What is surprising to many who continuously hear about the damage to tropical forests from logging is that more forest cutting and removal results from deforestation of both private and public lands in the United States than any other country in the world! Therefore, a reduction in US logging practices has significant potential to reduce US global GHG emissions.