We all know that trees and forests are important. Trees give us shade and a place to relax on a sunny day. Their wood helps make products ranging from the homes in which we live to certain medications we take when we're sick.
But did you know that trees benefit society as whole, just by being there? Forests store carbon in their trunks, they clean the air and water, they provide a diverse habitat for plants and animals, and they even give people a place to relax and play.
Historically, these societal benefits have been taken for granted with no financial value attributed to them. But monetizing these benefits through private forest landowner participation in environmental credit markets provides the opportunity to reward landowners who provide a public benefit.
Traditionally, forests have provided income to landowners through the sale of raw material for forest products, such as saw logs that are sawn into lumber and wood fiber that is pulped and made into paper. The Ecosystems Services Program aims to help develop ecosystem services markets in Texas and, thus, provide an additional source of forest income for Texas landowners who maintain their forests.
Texas Statewide Assessment of Forest Ecosystem ServicesTexas A&M Forest Service quantified and assessed the value of ecosystem services, or environmental benefits, provided by the state's forestlands. To find out the results of this assessment, read the agency's Texas Statewide Assessment of Forest Ecosystem Services Highlights, Executive Summary, and Report.
Environmental Credit Marketing SurveyTexas A&M Forest Service launched an extensive survey to learn more about landowners' interest in ecosystem services markets. To find out more about what the agency learned, read the agency's Environmental Credit Marketing Survey Executive Summary and Report.