WASHINGTON -- reThink Wood, a coalition of interests representing North America's wood products industry, has proudly announced sponsorship of this year's U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree to encourage education about the important role that sustainable forests play in wood construction and the economy.
As a natural, renewable material with a light carbon footprint, many architects and engineers are embracing wood as a structural material in their designs. "Celebrating the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is a great way to recognize our forest products industry within the walls of our communities and spur conversations around how wood from properly managed forests is a positive choice for both our Christmas trees at home and for the buildings we live in," said Mike Theune, public affairs officer for Chippewa National Forest.
The 80-foot tall white spruce Capitol Christmas Tree, also known as the "People's Tree," recently completed its 2,000-mile cross-country journey from Minnesota to Washington D.C. for the 2014 season, participating in events in nearly 30 communities along the way. The annual holiday tradition, facilitated by the U.S. Forest Service in partnership with Choose Outdoors, is an opportunity to celebrate the importance of forest products and the role of wood in the U.S. economy.
"The Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting is a wonderful annual tradition that allows us to celebrate more than 22 million local families and private landowners who manage working forests in the U.S.," said Cees de Jager, Chief Marketing Officer of the Softwood Lumber Board on behalf of reThink Wood. "By promoting the use of wood products in construction, we support those forests and families, as well as contribute significantly to the U.S. economy through GDP and jobs in rural communities."
In North America, responsible forest management has resulted in more than 50 consecutive years of net forest growth that exceeds annual forest harvests, supports more than one million direct jobs and contributes $100 billion in U.S. gross domestic product. By specifying wood for buildings, architects and other construction professionals support the industry, while reducing the environmental impact of cities.
About reThink Wood
reThink Wood is a coalition of North American wood industry representatives and forest landowners that aims to raise awareness for wood use in construction. The initiative is supported by the Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) and Forestry Innovation Investment (FII). Visit www.reThinkWood.com to learn more about the performance, cost and sustainability benefits of wood.