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Appalachian Lumber Producers Verify Sustainability

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The hardwood lumber resource from Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers, Inc.’s territory is meeting the needs of today without compromising those of future generations - sustainably. The resource from the Appalachian Hardwood Forest is more than sustainable by this definition and is actually banking for the future at a rate of 2.29 trees for each tree that is harvested. The announcement comes following research by the U.S. Forest Service of the Forest Inventory and Analysis data compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “We have known for several years that natural regeneration and forest management in the Appalachian region was providing a stable timber base,” said AHMI President Tom Inman. “This analysis verifies that and extends it further to show that in the 344 counties of the Appalachian Region as AHMI defines it, the growth to removal ratio is more than 2.29 to 1. “We believe this goes beyond basic sustainability and verifies an expanding resource and timber base for the future,” he said. AHMI is a regional trade association headquartered in High Point, NC. Its mission is to promote the hardwood timber and products from the Appalachian Region of the eastern United States. The association’s bylaws dictate the producing region as 344 counties in 12 states. These counties must meet elevation, soil composition and climate requirements to be included. AHMI staff asked U.S. Forest Service officials to research the FIA data for this area and compare with the past 20 years. The analysis discovered the Appalachian Hardwood timber base has grown to more than 65.4 million acres, up 300,000 acres since 1990, and includes more than 115 billion cubic feet of trees. “The public is becoming more interested in sustainable resources and green building and our research proves that the Appalachian Hardwood Forest exceeds simple sustainability levels and definitions,” Inman said. “Consumers can be assured when they purchase hardwood products from lumber manufactured from AHMI members that the resource is sustaining more growth than harvest. The data shows that Appalachian is synonymous with sustainable.” AHMI launched its “Appalachian Hardwood Verified Sustainable” campaign in July. AHMI members can provide customers with documents of sustainability verifying that the Appalachian Hardwood Timber was manufactured from the AHMI territory. The documentation can be passed on through distribution and manufacturing companies. AHMI has also established a new website, www.appalachianhardwood.info to explain the verified sustainable promotion. AHMI was founded in 1928 and represents more than 200 lumber manufacturers, distributors, consumers, foresters and suppliers to the industry. For more information, contact sustainable@appalachianhardwood.info.

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