SAF Statement on US Endowment Report on Forest and Forest Products Research and Development

October 11, 2017

The Society of American Foresters (SAF) is pleased that a distinguished group of forest sector leaders have taken a fresh look at the state of research and development capacity. The US Endowment for Forestry and Communities’ Blue Ribbon Commission on Forest and Forest Products Research and Development in the 21st Century offers an important contribution to the dialogue about the future of forest research. 

SAF is dedicated and determined to work alongside the Endowment, Congress, the Administration, and other partners to address the decline in the nation’s forest research capacity. 

Finding a new method to fund wildfire suppression is paramount, but resolving fire borrowing alone will not ease the pressures the research sector faces. This report, along with the soon to be released SAF report focused on US Forest Service client engagement to address emerging questions and needs, will encourage important dialogue about building a successful forest research model for now and the future. Building collective interest and momentum to ensure that all research organizations are coordinated to address important basic and applied research questions and effectively disseminate this information to practitioners here and abroad. 

The Endowment’s report states, “If we are to realize the full benefit of America’s forests, society must work to retain them and keep them healthy and productive.”  The existing research capacity of the nation is not sufficient to provide the answers to today’s forest health and productivity challenges that the nation’s forests, its foresters, and its forest landowners need.  

SAF concurs with the central findings that more collaboration among research institutions and clearer strategic focus on applied research and development is needed to make the best use of the funding and scientists available today.  We also endorse the report’s recommendations that new incentives are needed to expand forest industry’s investment in research and to help private forest landowners afford to keep their forests healthy and productive. 

SAF pledges to assist the agencies, universities, and stakeholders to build consensus around efficient, collaborative plans to deliver needed basic and applied forest research to sustain healthy forests and communities we enjoy now and in the future.   
To download the full report, click here.