Money Does Grow on Trees
National forests are 10 times more valuable if used for recreation and to protect wildlife and water quality than they are if used for logging, mining, and grazing, according to a new report commissioned by the Sierra Club. Measured by these new standards, the forests are worth $234 billion and generate 2.9 million sustainable jobs, found the report, which was prepared by ECONorthwest, an economic consulting firm. In contrast, logging, mining, and grazing on national forest land are worth just $23 billion and provide 407,000 jobs. “Leaving trees standing in most cases can contribute far more to local, state, and national economies than logging,” said Ernie Niemi, a coauthor of the report.