Climate Change icon

The active and responsible management of Western and Pacific island forests plays a key role in mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Western forests are impacted by the changing climate.

The impacts of climate variability on overall forest productivity include changes to wildlife ranges; shifts in snowpackduration impacting water supplies; and changes in the frequency and intensity of wildfire and forest pest disturbances.  

As climate change science rapidly evolves, CWSF works to ensure our members and partners have the latest information and resources to inform mitigation and adaptation strategies for Western and Pacific island forests.

CWSF works to increase awareness of the implications of climate change on our forests, including how to maintain, restore and enhance forest health.

Forests play an important role in the overall U.S. climate strategy. It is estimated that 14 to 15 percent of the nation's annual carbon emissions are offset by the additional carbon stored in U.S. forests and wood products each year 1.

To maintain and enhance forests’ critical role as carbon sinks, management strategies must include:

  • Preventing forest conversion or loss to devastating wildfire
  • Reforestation
  • Supporting diverse forest products markets and biomass opportunities
  • Strategies to increase forest resilience across larger landscapes

These actions serve to capture carbon and offset fossil fuel emissions.

1 US Environmental Protection Agency. 2013. Inventory of US greenhouse gas emissions and sinks: 1990-2011. EPA 430-R-13-001, Washington, DC.