Trees are America's only renewable natural resource. As a result of good forest management and stewardship, there are more trees growing on our forestland today than at any other period in time. The foremost management objective of our forestland is long-term sustainability through reasonable, practical, and scientific management.
Trees are a crop similar to wheat, corn, soybeans, and cotton. They are established, cultivated, managed, and harvested. Mother Nature will naturally establish a subsequent crop of trees if left alone. As with our lawns at home, we diligently strive to establish a pure sod of grass, trying to eliminate weeds and undesirable growth. Comparatively, we plant genetically improved trees, eliminate poor and unattractive performers and manage for continued improvement.
When trees are thinned and delivered to a user facility, the soil is not disturbed, the ground is not mined and forever altered, and there are no toxic spills or contaminations. Trees and forest products are environmentally friendly.
Trees provide multiple and integrated uses. In Georgia, our forest industry represents a $19.5 billion a year collective business. There are 600,000 private landowners and tree farmers in our state with diversified objectives owning 16,600,000 acres.
During periods of change and challenge, we must strive to do the very best we can and not abandon practices that have proven to be effective. Trees are a long-term investment subject to volatility in the markets, societal changes, with new and improved management technology. We must stay the course and have long-term vision.
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