Albert Coffey: New wood market welcomed

September 27, 2013 

Wood market welcomed

Dr. Andrew George’s attack on the wood pellet industry in his Sept. 25 Point of View “Trees not trash; pellets not ‘green’ ” is a clear affront to forest landowners in North Carolina.

Citing references such as “the most recent data” and “recent evidence from The Wall Street Journal,” he attempts to show that harvesting whole trees is bad for the environment. Bet George doesn’t own any forestland, at least none on which he depends for a living. I was pleased that some sweet gum from a recent thinning on my forest was heading to Enviva. We landowners have been waiting years for markets for unmerchantable trees. In fact we have been struggling from losses in the traditional pulp and paper market.

Any new market is welcome, and it enables us to keep our land as working forests instead of selling it for development or some other nonforest use. Cutting whole trees does not destroy a forest.

The forest is a renewable resource, a fact that supports using trees as a carbon-neutral source of energy. George should be reminded that The Wall Street Journal is printed on paper, a renewable forest product, some of which came from whole trees.

Albert Coffey, Wake Forest

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