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Healthy, productive forests are some of nature's best water managers. The trees, plants and soil absorb falling rain and snow, allowing a forest to capture, clean and slowly release clean water into the many streams, rivers and groundwater systems in its watershed.   

Our world needs a clean and abundant water supply to sustain populations, support ecosystems and maintain a stable global economy. We're in the right business to help meet this need. The millions of acres of timberlands we own and manage are critical to providing clean water to communities downstream from our forests and to the larger water cycle. We don't take this responsibility lightly.

WATER STEWARDSHIP IN OUR FORESTS

Sustainable forestry practices play a crucial role in maintaining our forests' ability to capture and filter water and they ensure our harvesting practices safeguard water quality. We protect water quality by grading and maintaining roads to channel runoff to the forest floor (which keeps silt away from streams), building culverts and bridges to allow fish passage, and seeding exposed road banks with grasses to prevent erosion. We also leave tree buffers along waterways to reduce siltation and protect aquatic habitat. 

Over the past three years, almost $4 million of our forestry research spending was focused on fish and wildlife and water quality.  We've invested in road improvements to separate our road network from streams, resulting in improved water quality and fish habitat. 

Our operations engage with universities and governmental organization to support robust research and monitoring programs to ensure forest management practices do not have an adverse impact on water quantity or quality. In one such partnership, we participated in a joint study led by Oregon State University and the U.S. Forest Service and involving scientists from the Oregon Department of Forestry. This team of scientists measured our roads' effect on streams prior to harvesting, during harvesting and after harvesting. The results found the amount of sediment in streams during all three periods were "biologically insignificant". This research was one piece of the long-term Trask Watershed Study, which examines the effects of forest management practices on fish and aquatic ecosystems.


Clean Water and Working Forests

Our forests have a good water story to tell. They rely on naturally occurring rainwater to grow and filter pollution out of the rainwater.

Check out this Fast Facts video from Forest Proud to learn about the relationship between working forests and clean water. 

If you want to learn even more about this great connection, here's another cool video explaining the relationship between clean drinking water and forests.


WATER USE AT OUR MILLS

Because our forests rely on rainwater to grow, water use at our company is limited to our wood products manufacturing sites. Fortunately, our wood products sites use very little water and the water that is used is usually either recycled on-site, evaporated while the products are drying, or sent to the local publicly owned treatment facility.

Even with very little water use at our mills, we continue to stay focused on reducing water use where possible, weighing product- and water-use requirements. In 2018, our wood products manufacturing facilities reduced their total water consumption by another 2 percent from the prior year.

View our water use data