On the agenda, finally: America’s not-so-invisible health crisis

Laurence Wiseman, PhD

Synesis: A Journal of Science, Technology, Ethics, and Policy 2010; 1:T21-24

Recognition that forests can be carbon sinks has altered consumer perception of privately owned forested lands and provided an opportunity for revised public policy. Stimulated by the recognition that the majority of United States forested lands are privately owned, and occur in small parcels has the potential to modify local and national forest products policy and to support small business and rural economies. Existing forest management policy has long been directed to U.S. Forest Service and other federal lands at least in part due to public perceptions of environmentally proper management through protection. Instead, the forest management paradigm in coming decades must recognize ecosystem services provided by forested lands, the economic services provided by small business entities on privately owned land, and a flexible federal and state regulatory framework.

Key words: carbon, forest, economy, ecosystem, ownership, policy, small business.