National forests are worth an estimated $234 billion and generate 2.9 million jobs from recreation, fish and wildlife, water quality and wild areas, says a new study sponsored by the Sierra Club.
The study, conducted by economic consulting firm ECONorthwest, supports the Sierra Club’s opposition to commercial logging in national forests, the Associated Press reported Aug. 29.
“Leaving trees standing in most cases can contribute far more to state and national economies than logging,” Ernie Niemi, co-author of the report and an economist at ECONorthwest, told AP.
The timber industry challenged the report, saying the Forest Service can allow logging in forests without damaging recreation, water quality and fish and wildlife.
“We need to make sure we’re balancing all the values of all the goods and services these forests provide,” said Chris West of the Northwest Forestry Association in Portland, Ore.
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