March-April 2018

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Page 36 of 43 PalletCentral • March-April 2018 37 c. The NWPCA is key. Without pallets and containers, we would see vastly fewer mills which means far less management and more no bid timber sales, or conversion of private lands to other uses, which means fewer healthy forests. What project are you most proud of that is helping address forest health challenges? How does current and future collaboration with NWPCA help advance your organization's goals? The pallet and container sector has stepped up and played a big role in addressing the spread of invasive species. The NWPCA has worked with the USDA Forest Service and APHIS on the development of treatments and protocols. Then, the NWPCA has turned around and put these exact treatments and protocols into practice. The teamwork has been strong and the results have been impressive. This collaboration has not only benefited our forests domestically, but it has had a global impact as products from the U.S. get shipped around the world, free of pests that otherwise could have spread. This is a major accomplishment and I salute you for it. Clearly both the use of the material in general and the way that use has advanced in recent years provide vital support to our mission. How do healthy forests and the wood packaging industry help improve local communities? Healthy forests and the wood packaging industry helps improve local communities in several ways. To name a few: job creation in rural communities, creating safer communities through hazardous fuels reduction, and supporting wood products markets that incentivizes landowners to keep forests as forests. What are some of the key challenges to improving the health of our nation's forests? One key challenge to improving the health of our nation's forests is the lack of wood products markets. Along with the NWPCA, the Forest Service is actively working to support current and create new opportunities for wood products that contribute to diversified rural economies and support sustainable forest management. Healthy wood products markets promote healthier forested landscapes for future generations. How can the wood packaging industry better support you in the future? I would simply ask that you [NWPCA] keep up what you are already doing: working together with the U.S. Forest Service, APHIS and the entire forest sector to advance the use of sustainable wood, sustainable healthy forests and healthy communities. And continue supporting the partnership at Virginia Tech where we work together at hard questions, then seek solutions. PC

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