Idaho's Sustainable Forests


Whether it's lumber and furniture or newspapers and paper towels, we all use products made from paper and wood. Today, when you buy goods made from wood harvested in Idaho, you can rest assured that those wood products come from sustainable forests.

Sustainable forests are managed to protect Clean water, wildlife habitat and air quality. In these forests trees are always growing. Over time, the rate of harvest does not exceed the growth of new trees.

Idahoans hike, camp fish and play in these forests and rely on them to provide valuable wood products. To help ensure that our forests remain sustainable, anyone who harvested a tree for commercial purposes in Idaho must follow the forest protection regulations of the Idaho Forest Practices Act.

Under this law, activities such as harvesting, road-building, replanting and growing trees are carefully regulated. Since trees are a renewable resource, sustainable forestry is the best is the best way for Idaho's forest products companies to conserve the forest resources that are so important to us all!


Planting and Reforestation

The Idaho Forest Practices Act requires that a healthy, robust forest be quickly re-established following harvest, either by natural reseeding or planting. In fact, more than eighteen million trees are planted in Idaho every year. In many cases, however, research shows that it's better to promote reseeding from surrounding trees. This kind of reforestation requires plenty of healthy trees as sources of seed.



Protecting Our Water

Healthy forests play a role in maintaining clean water. The Idaho Forest Practices Act requires stream protection zones and carefully developed road building techniques to protect fish habit arid water quality. Stream protection zones help prevent sediment from running into streams and provide shade so the water remains cool and fresh.

Conserving Wildlife Habitat

Foresters, wildlife biologists and other experts are always looking for ways to better conserve and protect forest wildlife habitat. The Forest Practices Act provides foresters with guidelines to benefit wildlife, such as leaving dead trees to provide nesting sites for birds and small animals.
Additionally, Idaho's forest products companies strive to use the best available science to protect wildlife habitat, water, soil and air quality. Many private forest businesses conduct ongoing fish and wildlife research as well as road and stream enhancement projects.



Idaho's Forest Practices Act

The people who work in Idaho's woods understand the importance of protecting those forests for the future. They are committed to harvesting in an environmentally responsible manner. That's why the states forestry companies supported the creation of the 1974 Idaho Forest Practices Act, a state law that regulates forestland management.

This statute ensures good stewardship of Idaho's forests by requiring compliance with strict environmental standards that include reforestation after harvest as well as protection of water quality and wild life habitat. All timber harvest activities within the state must comply with specific enviornment regulations. The Idaho Department of Lands enforces the law and continually monitors forest activities for compliance.
Moreover every four years an independent team audits and recommends continuous improvement of standards. While there are harsh penalties for breaking the law, official ongoing reviews of harvest activities have found few violations.


It's Our Law
The Forest Practices Act was passed by
the 1974 Idaho Legislature to assure the
continuous growing and harvesting of
forest trees and to maintain forest sail, air,
water, vegetation, wildlife and aquatic
habitat. The Act requires forest practice
rules for state and private lands to protect,
maintain, and enhance our natural
resources. Federal land practices must
meet or exceed the requirements Of
the state rules for water quality.
The Act provides for an advisory board
of forest landowners, operators, resource
professionals, fisheries experts and
informed citizens to recommend rules
to the State Land Board.
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