Forest products have impact on Kemper County

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Most people do not stop to think about the important role that forest products play in our everyday lives, especially in Mississippi. From clean air, paper, buildings, bridges, energy, chemicals, and the jobs that support the production of all these things, our world depends on trees to pro- vide for us. 

National Forest Products Week will be ob- served October 17-23, 2021. This annual observance began on September 13, 1960, when Congress passed a joint resolution providing for the establishment of an annual National Forest Products Week to be held each year on the week beginning with the third Sunday in October. (Ironically, it was Representative E.L. “Tic” Forrester from Georgia who presented the proclamation in the House for approval.) President Eisenhower signed the first 

proclamation 2 days later, while calling on the people of the United States to observe the week of October 16, 1960, “with activities and ceremonies designed to focus attention on the importance of our forests and forest products to the Nation’s economy and welfare.” 

During this time we should recognize the re- search that has been con- ducted by the Forest Service and Mississippi State University for more than 100 years in support of its mission to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests. This re- search promotes the responsible use of this natural resource. New products and technologies developed through this research create jobs, especially in rural areas, and stimulate economic growth. Without these ongoing efforts to sustain our forests, we might not have anything to celebrate. 

Perhaps the best thing about forest products is that they come from a renewable and sustainable 

resource. Not only are wood products recyclable, durable, and energy efficient; healthy, growing forests play a key role in absorbing carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen, and storing carbon over time. 

So, during the week of October 17-23, take a look around, think about the many ways that our forests benefit you in your everyday life. National Forest Products Week is a time to recognize the many products that come from our forests, the people who work in and manage our forests, the people who make the products, and how all of it contributes to our lives. 

James L. Cummins is executive director of Wildlife Mississippi, a non-profit, conservation organization founded to conserve, restore, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plant resources through- out Mississippi. Their web site is www.wildlifemiss.org. 





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