Current perspectives on sustainable forest management: North America
Purpose of Review Increased availability of current forest resource information provides an opportunity to evaluate the continued concerns about forest sustainability in North America. The purpose of this study is to assess and discuss the current state and trends of North American forest resources, sustainable forest management, and their implications for forest sustainability. Recent Findings Recent information indicates that forest sustainability in North America is not under threat. Forest area, inventory, and carbon stocks have been increasing while wood harvest has been declining. Large expanses of forest resources are covered by management plans, and many forests are certified. The areas of concern include forest fires and bark beetle infestations in primarily public forests in the western USA and Canada, and continued loss of forest cover in Mexico. Summary Despite progress made in gathering information on forest resources, evaluating forest sustainability remains challenging. Practicing sustainable forest management is made difficult by unfavorable market conditions and the ensuing lack of funding, challenges in developing and implementing forest management plans, and uncertainties including potential impacts of climate change, population growth, and changing markets.