We couldn’t have paper and building products without forests. We rely on forests as a company and even more as a community. GP recognizes that forests are beneficial for more than just products that provide financial gain. They also give us clean air, clean water and a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. Responsible and sustainable forest management must be a top priority for companies like us.
At GP, we believe there are some forests that should be protected because of their unique or rare qualities. We have a forest mapping program to identify and protect these endangered forest (EF) areas.
It starts with a GIS (geographic information system) process designed for GP by the University of Georgia in its Natural Resources Spacial Analysis Lab. Data sets for the forests in our wood procurement basins are gathered and matched against a set of 12 predetermined criteria that are characteristic of endangered forest areas. These data sets are scored, and the scores determine which forests are considered endangered.
Once an area is mapped, Georgia‐Pacific doesn’t buy wood fiber from these areas except in unique situations when active forest management is required to improve the habitat for endangered, rare and/or vulnerable species. These species can include the northern spotted owl, the Louisiana black bear and eastern indigo snakes.
GP’s forest mapping activities have been nearly a decade in the making. In 2010, we expanded our sustainable forestry efforts to better identify and protect endangered forests and special areas in our key supply regions. Earlier this year, we completed the work, mapping 6.6 million acres of endangered forests and special areas in the 19 states where we source wood. Now that the mapping is finished, we will monitor each of these EF sites annually to ensure we are not receiving fiber from them.