JACKSONVILLE, Florida — I have been fortunate to work in the forest industry for 26 years and have witnessed firsthand the positive economic impact of our sector on rural communities across the US. This impact becomes tangible when you think about all the people it takes to plant trees, manage forest land, harvest timber, transport logs to mills and manufacture the sustainable forest-based products we all rely on in daily life, like paper, cardboard, plywood and lumber. …Beyond these economic benefits, the forest sector also plays a critical role in mitigating climate change. The U.S. cannot reach its ambitious goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 without a healthy forest sector. Currently, forests capture and store more than 15% of our nation’s annual carbon emissions. Working forests must remain healthy and intact to continue providing these carbon storage benefits.