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Climate-Smart Forestry

Modern, sustainable forest management leads to climate-smart outcomes in working forests

What is Climate-Smart Forestry?

Climate-Smart Forestry is a dynamic and adaptable approach within sustainable forest management that optimizes climate adaptation and mitigation outcomes.

Climate-Smart Forestry is guided by science and can adapt to different regions, forest types, and conditions. It recognizes the vital role of different forest ownerships, including private working forests, to achieve climate solutions.

The U.S. stands apart as a global leader in climate-smart forestry.

The U.S. is a global leader in modern forestry, with private working forest owners in the U.S. maintaining high standards for sustainable forest management. Because of these sustainable practices, the U.S. enjoys some of the most abundant and productive forest resources in the world.

Climate-Smart Forestry FAQs

Do commercial harvests disturb old growth forests? How can I find wood products that come from sustainably managed forests? Find the answers to these and other frequently asked questions.

Data-Driven Decision Making

Prioritizing Outcomes Over Prescriptive Approaches

Prioritizing outcomes over prescriptive practices is essential to climate-smart forestry. While certain practices can be beneficial, it’s the end results that truly matter.
There are multiple ways to achieve climate-smart outcomes. A rigid, one-size-fits-all approach won’t work for every forest in every part of the country. Flexibility to use methods best suited to forest types, conditions, and geographies will drive smarter action, investment, innovation, and produce more positive results.

Sustainably managed private working forests already demonstrate how such approaches produce impressive climate-smart outcomes:


Private working forests comprise 47% of all U.S. forests.


They also provide nearly 80% of the annual net sequestration and 51% of all carbon stored in all U.S. forests.


At the same time, 90% of forest products produced in the U.S. come from private working forests.

By focusing on such outcomes, as opposed to prescriptive practices, we can more effectively harness data and science, adjust to innovations and changing conditions, and better ensure the long-term sustainability and health of our forests.

Long-Term Carbon Storage

Solid wood products continue to store carbon for long periods and can replace more carbon-intensive materials. Each year 100 million metric tons of carbon storage is added through new wood products, adding to the 10 billion metric tons of carbon already stored in the wood products carbon storage pool.

Climate-Smart Outcomes for Working Forests

Modern, sustainable forest management leads to climate-smart outcomes in working forests. These include forest health, mitigation of severe wildfire risks, stable or increasing carbon stocks at a landscape scale, and ongoing carbon storage in solid wood products.