The timber industry is experiencing what you might call a rebirth – and here in Humboldt we’re right in the middle of it. Successful companies are working to meet the needs of environmentally conscious consumers.

Humboldt is by far California’s top timber producer. So it’s no surprise that we’re home to some of the leading industry professionals working to ensure a balance between a good product and a healthy environment. They include foresters like Mike Jani.

“There’s a big opportunity right now to understand how our redwood forests can remain healthy, create sustainable jobs and continue to provide a product our consumers want,” Mike says.

As president and lead forester of the Humboldt Redwoods Company, Mike is excited about the company’s recent certification from the Forest Stewardship Council, a non-profit group devoted to sustainable forest management. His company has eliminated clear-cutting, is strongly reducing herbicide use and is protecting old growth trees. It’s also focused on habitat conservation.

The certification validates Mike’s belief that timber companies can make good neighbors. “Probably the biggest change in the industry since I started working is how much of a company’s resources go into managing things that aren’t timber,” he says.

These days, he says, timber companies are experts in wild life management, preventing soil erosion and understanding how to ensure a successful harvest 50 years in the future. And the results are paying off. Modern timber firms like Humboldt Redwood Company are producing a better product while demonstrating the value of environmental stewardship.

With more than 1 million acres of productive forest land, Humboldt County has become a leading source for sustainably harvested lumber. And beyond Humboldt Redwoods Company, other producers like Sierra Pacific Industries and Green Diamond Resource Company, have developed sustainable forestry plans to ensure a healthy future.

Even the Humboldt town of Arcata, which has its own community forest, and the Hoopa Valley Tribe have discovered the benefits of sustainable logging. They currently offer products at specialty, small-scale lumber yards.