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New England Exemplary Forests

New England Exemplary Forests are looking to develop their approach into a global standard for sustainable woodland management.

Forests are more than just a resource for timber. They mitigate climate change, reduce the impact of natural disasters, and are the most biologically diverse eco-systems on land. Executive Director, Bob Perschel and Chief Operating Officer, Frank Lowenstein outline The New England Forestry Foundation's ambition of creating a global standard for sustainable forest management.

"Exemplary Forestry promotes long-term ecosystem health and enables forests to sequester more carbon, produce more and better-quality wood, and improve wildlife habitats."

Earth’s four billion hectares of forest, from Chocó rainforest in Ecuador and Colombia to the vast boreal forests of Canada and Russia, are the essential building blocks of a more sustainable world. Forests are our best mechanism for removing carbon pollution from the atmosphere, and they are a renewable source of climate-friendly wood products that can replace emissions-intensive and non-renewable materials like concrete, plastic and steel.

New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) experts have concluded that to both increase forests’ ability to mitigate climate change and ensure their protection and health, we need to improve current forest management practices and recruit more landowners and forest managers to use them. Foresters have long applied the science of forestry—silviculture—to speed the growth of forests and deliver valued environmental services like clean water and wildlife habitat. Now, at both a regional and a global level, we need to tailor our approach to forest land to secure a livable climate and feed the future’s circular economy. 

NEFF has piloted an approach to this global need by developing a forest management approach for New England called Exemplary Forestry. It promotes long-term ecosystem health and enables forests to sequester more carbon, produce more and better-quality wood, and improve wildlife habitat. Taken together, Exemplary Forestry outlines the highest standards of sustainability currently available to New England’s forest owners.

By managing forests to sequester more carbon while maintaining harvesting, NEFF aims to help solve the climate crisis and provide more wood that can be used to supply society's other needs. By directing that wood to uses that store carbon long-term, such as with new techniques of mass timber construction, we can offset higher-emissions materials and store carbon in our cities, creating a virtuous link between rural and urban areas and helping address housing equity and access.

Visit New England Forestry Foundation's website to find out more.

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