Updated Position Statement from SAF: "Biodiversity in Forest Ecosystems"

February 7, 2024

During their October meeting at the 2023 SAF National Convention, SAF’s Board of Directors approved an updated revision of the “Biodiversity in Forest Ecosystems” position statement. Led by Committee on Forest Policy members Tom Troxel, Dr. Lilli Kaarakka, and Amanda Sullivan-Astor, the updated position statement retains the same core messaging as the previous version (2019) by recognizing the importance of conserving and enhancing biodiversity as a principle of sustainability and the value of considering biodiversity in forest management plans, practices, and policies.  

Notably, the updated position statement includes new language on integrating climate change adaptation and resiliency into forest management planning and activities. Additionally, the title of the position statement was updated from “Biological Diversity in Forest Ecosystems” to “Biodiversity in Forest Ecosystems” to better reflect current terminology, and portions of the previous purpose and scope were moved to the position in conformance with SAF’s updated position statement format. 

“SAF’s original position statement on Biological Diversity/Biodiversity was adopted in 1991. This newest version builds on previous versions in recognizing that biologically diverse forests are better positioned to withstand the effects of climate change, wildfire, pests, pathogens, and invasive species, and the important role of active forest management,” said Tom Troxel. “Plus, we added a new strategy statement on integrating climate change adaptations into forest management planning and activities, including three excellent references with recommendations on how practitioners can accomplish that integration on-the-ground.” 

A highly informative and readable document, the updated position statement comes at a critical time; forest science and management are being recognized as essential tools for addressing the biodiversity and climate change crises. This position statement will serve as a valuable resource for understanding and applying this information. 

In addition to our lead authors, we’d like to thank the entire Committee on Forest Policy, the Forest Science & Technology Board, the House of Society Delegate members, SAF Working Group members, and SAF’s Board of Directors for their contributions. 

SAF has also developed a shareable briefer that summarizes the key points of the position statement and social media graphics to educate decision makers and the public. Members are welcome to share these resources with their networks.  

Download the briefer and the graphics here: 
Visit the policy webpage to explore all of SAF’s National Position Statements.