Edward Sontag: Renewable forests better than development

September 27, 2013 

Renewable forests better

The Sept. 25 Point of View piece “Trees not trash; pellets not ‘green’” missed the real benefits that companies like Enviva bring to North Carolina.

As a forester with an N.C. State degree, I have logged these woods for over 20 years. Enviva’s procurement team has over 350 years experience logging these same woods. We care deeply about North Carolina forests and have seen firsthand the positive effect that our sustainable forestry delivers to landowners, rural communities and the environment.

Local economies in the Southeast have been hit hard by the decline of traditional wood buyers like pulp and paper. As markets for wood weakened, forest landowners looked elsewhere to generate revenue and have converted land to agriculture or development. This land-use change is a far greater threat to the ecosystems all of us want to protect than responsible forestry practices.

Companies like Enviva help keep forests as forests. By providing a reliable market for sustainably sourced, lower-value wood fiber, we create additional incentive for landowners to harvest responsibly, observe best management practices and reforest after harvest.

We’re proud of the positive economic and environmental effect we’re creating and the role our renewable, low-carbon fuels play in solving the world’s complex energy challenges.

Edward Sontag

Director of Fiber Sourcing, Enviva, Bethesda, Md.

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