Forest Management, Carbon, and Climate Change


To clarify the increasingly complex opportunities and challenges associated with forest management for mitigating and adapting to climate change, including: carbon valuation and forest conservation, natural resources economies for ecosystem services, and risks to and opportunities for increasing the resilience of American forests and surrounding communities.


Forest management practices that conserve forestlands, sustain economies and communities, and protect our natural resources in light of anticipated climate change.


The Society of American Foresters (SAF) promotes and supports science-based policies and actions that consistently recognize the positive role that forest management plays in: (1) mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the sequestration of atmospheric carbon in resilient, well-managed forests (trees and soil), producing wood-based products to replace both non-renewable materials and fossil fuel-based energy sources; and (2) adapting to future climate patterns through active forest management that reduces the risk of stand-replacing wildfire and other climate-driven disturbance emissions and avoids land-use changes from forests. Successfully adapting our forests and forest management practices to climate change will require explicit and long-term investments in research, education and outreach to aid in management for these changes. This includes direct monetary support to private landowners and public agencies to explore and implement the technologies and practices that can be used to mitigate carbon emissions and adapt to changing climate conditions, and associated assistance programs for local communities to implement the necessary changes.

Approved: May 2020

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