Our Forests. Our Strength.
The Great American Stand is a report co-authored by Dogwood’s Executive Director Danna Smith and IPCC scientist Dr. Bill Moomaw. The report shows how industrial logging is a major driver of carbon emissions and is a cause of both environmental and social justice impacts.
We can’t solve the climate crisis without our forests. Forests are one of the best tools we have to keep carbon out of the atmosphere because each year they absorb carbon and store it in their roots, leaves, and wood. We need to improve, restore, and protect our forests across the planet.
How did we get here? Our Forests & Climate brief A History of Forests in the US South digs into the story of how we’ve arrived at this moment in time where we’re rapidly degrading and losing our natural Southern forests.
In the US South, more than half of our forests are less than forty years old, and many are degraded as a result of constant logging without proper regeneration.
How much does industry actually affect our forests? The truth is staggering. In the 1600s, there were over a billion acres of forest in the continental United States, with roughly a third of those acres in the US South. In less than 100 years, industry destroyed over a hundred million acres of forests in the US South, and that was just the beginning.
You can’t put a price tag on nature, but there is a real dollar value to all the services our forests provide, particularly the services that come from the wetland forests in the Southern US. Check out our work that details the $500 billion worth of ecosystem services provided by forested wetlands stretching from Virginia to Texas.
What is the connection between forest protection, climate action, and justice for all?
“We must right the wrongs that have not only destroyed our forests, climate, air, and water but also placed the burden on vulnerable communities that have suffered the most. By restoring the forest — as well as the air, water, and climate — we can restore our communities, our relationship to each other and our morality.” – Reverend Leo Woodberry & Danna Smith
Low income communities and communities of color living in rural areas are among the worst hurt by the impacts of climate change. Many of these communities are hit the hardest by extreme flooding, for example, which has left many homeless or otherwise financially burdened after having to flee their homes.
Together we can build a movement to increase forest protection and end forest destruction.
We need leaders at the local, state, and national level to commit to Stand4Forests. Take the Stand4Forests platform directly to your elected official: here’s a pdf you can print and bring to a meeting with you. Afterward, fill out the information on Stand4Forests.org or send the endorsement directly to:
c/o Rita Frost
PO Box 7645
Asheville, NC 28802