We all want to live in a world where the air is safe to breathe and the water is clean and healthy, not only for ourselves, but for the next generation.Keeping forests healthy is one of the best ways to ensure our air and water are clean.
Forests as Filters
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” He was right. Humans breathe oxygen (O2) and exhale carbon dioxide (CO2). Trees are just the opposite. They absorb CO2, water and sunlight to make food and, through the process of photosynthesis, release clean, healthy oxygen that humans can breathe.
Forestland also helps keep our water safe to drink. It absorbs rain, refills underground aquifers, cools and cleanses water, slows storm runoff, and sustains watershed stability and resilience.Got woods? Visit MyLandPlan.org, a resource for woodland owners, by woodland owners, designed to help you protect and enjoy your woods.
Did You Know?
More than half (56%) of America’s forests are privately owned and managed. Families own 251 million acres. Here are some other facts about private forests in the United States:
Making Forests More Effective
Trees reduce the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere. In the United States, forests capture about 12% of the total carbon emissions. That number could grow much higher — an estimated 20% — when forest owners use better management practices.
- Planting trees
- Replanting cut trees or trees damaged by disasters
- Lengthening cut rotations
- Thinning, weeding, and prescribed fire
- Avoiding deforestation