By Andrea Watts
In 2009, when I wrote my family’s first forest management plan, carbon wasn’t mentioned; in the 2017 update, there is a section called “Climate Change and Carbon Sequestration.” This addition represents the knowledge that I gained during those eight years on carbon and why it is an ecosystem service that I should manage for alongside wildlife, water, and habitat. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you also experienced a similar learning curve during this time frame.
And there is always more to learn about carbon as the authors who contributed to this issue demonstrate, whether it’s how carbon cycles through the natural landscape and society, or how natural processes are being altered because of climate change that is resulting from the increased levels of atmosphere carbon dioxide. Fortunately, as many of these articles highlight, trees are the answer because of their ability to sequester carbon and serve as long-term carbon stores. As practitioners who work in the forestry and natural resources fields, we are best positioned to explain the science to the public and policy makers and manage our region’s forested landscapes.
As the year comes to a close, I’d like to express my appreciation for everyone who has welcomed me into the role of manager of the Northwest Office. And a grateful thank you all of the authors who volunteered to share their expertise, the advertisers whose financial support makes producing the Western Forester possible, and SAF members who continue to support this organization. Right now, everyone is making hard choices of where to channel their energy and financial support. That you have given some of it to the Western Forester and the Society of American Foresters is seen and appreciated.