October 19, 2016  
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Celebrating National Forest Products Week

“Whereas the bounty of our forest and timber lands provides our people with a source of strength and pride; and

Whereas as a major renewable resource, supported by the science of modern forestry, wood offers the availability and abundance to satisfy the Nation’s ever growing needs for many products—lumber, paper, building materials, chemicals, furniture, and cloth—all dedicated to improving the lives of our people…”

            These are the opening lines of the original proclamation—signed by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1960—that first established National Forest Products Week. This annual observation of the important role that forest products play in American life has occurred every year since, during the week beginning with the third Sunday in October. National Forest Products Week for 2016 began Sunday, October 16 and will continue through this Saturday, October 22.

The statements President Eisenhower made about the forest products industry still hold true today. Supported by sustainable forest practices, and the source of thousands of products that impact Americans’ everyday lives, forest products remain an important part of the nation’s manufacturing landscape.

“At home, school, the workplace and all points in between, pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products provide undeniable value to society and economies across the country,” notes American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman in a statement supporting National Forest Products Week. “The forest products industry employs directly nearly 900,000 men and women in family-wage jobs and rank among the top 10 manufacturing employers in 45 states. Our companies utilize renewable, recyclable materials in innovative and highly-efficient processes to make products Americans rely on today and will need tomorrow.”

Harman also points to sustainability initiatives like AF&PA’s Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 as a show of the industry’s commitment to forest sustainability. “With goals for further industry improvement already in place, the future for paper, packaging, pulp, tissue and wood products is a vibrant one.”  

International Print Day

No other technology is so firmly associated with paper products than print. It’s not surprising, then, that International Print Day 2016 falls on Wednesday, October 19, smack in the middle of National Forest Products Week.

International Print Day was started by the Print Media Center. The theme for 2016 is #PrintSmart, which relates to sharing education and resources for learning about “how FABULOUS print has become in the digital age,” according to the IPD website. The media blitz has been designed with the following goals:

  • To provide education and information to the global print and integrated marketing community through 24-hour open knowledge sharing.
  • To provide participants access to information about global companies, products and services.
  • To provide participants global networking opportunities.
  • To provide the industry with a unifying yearly event, created by the community for the community, and use social media to deliver the content.

“IPD’s organizers encourage anyone with an interest in the original communication delivery device better to join the planet’s largest conversation about print in all its forms, hosted by regional advocates with the aim of creating greater visibility for this fast-moving technology space,” according to a PMC statement.

So today— Wednesday, October 19—take to your social channels to share information related to print and integrated marketing, and include the hashtag #IPD16. Join the conversation and help International Print Day trend!

Several individual states have also released statements of support for National Forest Products Week. “Kentucky’s magnificent forests are an important resource for the Commonwealth, not only creating jobs for nearly 58,000 people and recreation for many more, but also generating US$14.6 billion for the state’s economy,” writes Governor Matthew G. Bevin in his proclamation declaring October 16-22 National Forest Products Week in Kentucky as well. South Dakota Department of Agriculture Resource Conservation and Forestry forester Parks Brigman writes that the celebratory week is “a time to recognize the many products that come from our forests, the people who work in and manage our forests, the businesses that make the products and how each one contributes to our lives.”

The summation of these ideas, and the important role of forest products, came in the official Proclamation from President Barack Obama released on Friday, October 14, which reads in part:
“Filtering the air we breathe and the water we drink, and providing the habitats that are home to diverse species of fish and wildlife, forests are an essential part of our planet. Across America, they offer a wide range of cultural and recreational activities that have sustained and entertained people since long before our Nation's founding. Today, forests provide products we use each day, including paper, wood, and building and packaging materials. During National Forest Products Week, we express our appreciation for the incredible bounty forests provide and we renew our commitment to ensuring the next generation can enjoy their irreplaceable resources.

“…I call on the people of the United States to join me in recognizing the dedicated individuals who are responsible for the stewardship of our forests and for the preservation, management, and use of these precious natural resources for the benefit of the American people.”

            You can add your voice to the support for this week of recognition! AF&PA suggests using the social media hashtags #CelebrateFP and #withpaper to get real-time news and to share your own reasons for supporting National Forest Products Week.

The full report is available for download through the Paper and Packaging Board’s “How Life Unfolds” homepage, howlifeunfolds.com.


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