In Idaho, forest management works

Actively managing our forests means using cutting edge technology to map forest health from the air to inform what we do on the ground. It means thinning dead and dying trees and prescribing controlled burning to minimize fuels that lead to catastrophic wildfires. Active management means harvesting and replanting trees in our working forests while protecting air and water quality and wildlife habitat.  Forest management works to provide good jobs, healthy forests and the products we use every day!

Idaho’s forest products industry: good jobs and reliable products

Can you imagine a day without using a forest product?  We can’t either!  Wood is the ultimate “green” product — it is renewable, sustainable, recyclable, grown locally, versatile, biodegradable and has a smaller energy, water and carbon life cycle footprint than other products. Increasingly, wood is being recognized in the architecture, engineering and construction communities as a green building product with important environmental advantages over other building materials.

The forest products industry in Idaho provides $2.5 billion to Idaho’s economy each year.  More than 30,000 men and women work in the industry in a myriad of jobs – in the forest, at the mill, in the office and in related businesses. Whether the job is a certified tree farmer, international sales representative, material handler, machinist, mechanic, millwright, heavy equipment operator or human resource professional, the forest provides thousands of jobs and millions in income in Idaho.

What is a healthy forest? 

None of the products or jobs would be possible if we didn’t have healthy forests. A healthy forest provides clean air and water, habitat for wildlife, incredible recreational opportunities and wood products that we couldn’t live without for generations to come. A healthy forest is resilient. When our forests are healthy, Idaho is healthy.  

What happens when a forest isn’t healthy?

When a forest isn’t healthy, it is susceptible to catastrophic wildfire, the effects of which need no explanation to those of us who live and breathe in the West.  Catastrophic wildfire destroys wildlife habitat, creates unhealthy air, soil and water, and causes loss of property and human lives. Forest managers in Idaho recognize that managing the entire ecosystem – soils, plant life, watersheds and wildlife – is critical to improving both forest health and wildlife habitat.  Learn more about the benefits of active forest management here.

Can you play a role in making Idaho’s forest healthier? 

Yes! By doing four simple things:  

1) Understand and support active forest management activities, 

2) Protect and care for Idaho’s forest while you are driving and recreating within them and,

3) Choose the reliable, recyclable products that come from wood. 

4) Plant a tree!  Contact the University of Idaho Pitkin Nursery to order seedlings (fees may apply).

Together we can manage to create the healthiest forests in America right here in our own backyard.

Idaho collaborates for forest health

The Good Neighbor Authority is an excellent example of how Idaho is leading the way in collaborating for forest health.  GNA allows state and federal entities to work together to improve forest health in our national forests and boost the economies of local timber communities.  Learn more about #NoBoundariesForestry here. 

Why is forest management a climate solution?

Climate change is contributing to extreme conditions that are impacting the health of Idaho’s forests and communities.  Rising temperatures result in longer wildfire seasons, early snowpack melt, drought and smoke-filled air.  Active forest management helps make our forests more resilient to these threats and provides natural wood products that store carbon and serve as sustainable alternatives to more energy-intensive materials.  Healthy, growing trees remove and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. 

Forest manufacturing is high tech

Did you know that some forest products facilities use computerized tomography (CT) scans in their manufacturing processes?  This technology allows them to utilize nearly 100% of every log as efficiently as possible.  It’s just one example of how modernized wood products manufacturing facilities have become in Idaho.  Wood products manufacturers are continuously improving processes to create the reliable wood and paper products we use every single day.  

Watch the video below from Idaho-based Northwest Management, Inc, a world leader in forestland and environmental management about how the lidar is revolutionizing forest management practices in Idaho and across the globe. 

ForestView Jan 2022

Buy our 2022 merchandise and share our campaign!

During the spring, the Idaho Forest Products Commission celebration the sustainable regeneration of trees.   Click on the links below to order our 2022 t-shirt and stickers. Click on the images to download and share. 

Order the 2022 Healthy Forests, Healthy Idaho t-shirt! Men, women and youth sizes. Only $15

Order the Healthy Forests, Healthy Idaho sticker!  Only $2 each



Want to dig deeper into Idaho forests?

Idaho forests are a miracle at work.  They provide an incredible array of resources for things we can’t imagine living without: clean air to breathe, fresh water to drink, products we use everyday and healthy habitats for fish and wildlife. But the environmental benefits of forests go even deeper.  Forests provide a myriad of ecosystem services that benefit all living things including humans, who enjoy quality recreation and cultural experiences in Idaho’s urban and rural forests.

Watch the two short videos below to learning about forest management and fire in forests. 

Forest ecosystem services can be broken down into three major categories:

  • Provisional (water, food and materials) 
  • Regulating (air and soil)
  • Supporting (habitat and biodiversity)

FOREST FACT: 63% of Idaho’s water supply comes from its forests.

Insects, disease, humans and fire all play a role in a natural forest ecosystem.  But fire suppression, climate change and human encroachment on forests have created conditions that are leading to more catastrophic fires that threaten wildlife habitat, precious resources, watersheds, homes and lives. Click here to learn more about threats to our forest.  Learn about the environmental benefits of forests including how forests: provide water, food and materials; regulate air and soil quality; and support habitat and biodiversity. Learn even more useful information about the environmental benefits of forests with links to materials and other websites.


Learn about the trees that grow in Idaho

Learn about Arbor Day in Idaho.

Learn about forest ecosystem services from Idaho-based Managing Idaho’s Landscapes for Ecosystem Services (MILES)