The Outlook | March 2024

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Workforce Needs & Challenges in the U.S. Forest and Wood Products Sector and the Value of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

A thriving forest and wood products sector in the United States is dependent upon the availability of a wide array of talent in all workforce segments. Access, retention, and leadership development within a talented workforce is a growing concern in the US forest and wood products sector. Companies and organizations that employ successful Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategies have the opportunity to benefit from untapped and underrepresented workforce talent - from the forest floor to the board room.

This paper provides an overview of the employment and economic impact of the US forest and wood products sector and the associated workforce needs and challenges. Information about the demographic diversity of the sector’s workforce is provided along with a discussion of representation in proportion to the overall US population and workforce. Recent research evaluating strategies to address identified barriers to the sector’s recruitment and retention of historically underrepresented groups is presented with a focus on strategies that can inform the DEI efforts in the sector.

Special thanks to...

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities for their support and the leadership of The Forest and Wood Products Inclusion Council.

Read the Report

Collaborating on Carbon

 A workshop to understand downstream impacts and the future of US forest carbon markets 

June 17 -18, 2024

Nashville, TN

Forest carbon market expansion presents a diverse set of social, economic, and ecological impacts. In this workshop, you are invited to share your perspectives on forests, industries, and communities. You will join with other experts, market-actors, and interests in identifying risks and collaborative solutions. This event is the culmination of a project entitled Exploring the Potential Effects of an Expanding Forest Carbon Market in the United States. Attendees will hear a summary of the project’s concept paper, survey, and mapping analysis; presentations from experts, and engage in small group discussions. Thought leaders representing a full range of perspectives and experiences on forest carbon markets are invited to participate in the workshop and contribute to the final results of the project.  

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Old-Growth Report | Guest Responses

In November 2023, Dovetail Partners released a report titled, "Old growth forests: How much is enough?". In the report, we explored the different definitions of "old growth" applied globally and in regions of North America and Europe, including their scientific basis. The report considered why we need old growth forests, and conversely, why we do not, and included a discussion of old growth forest protection and management. We concluded with a discussion how much old growth is 'enough', how we can create more, and how our understanding of the relationship between people and forests is evolving.

We asked individuals to respond to the report, "Old growth forests: How much is enough?", and compiled their feedback into one document.

Read the Responses

New Inclusion Council Website

The Inclusion Council fosters inclusive workplaces, empowers sustainable practices, and drives an equitable future in the forest and wood products sector. Dovetail Partners is a member of the Inclusion Council planning team.

Visit their Website

Forest + Climate Learning Exchange Series

Join Kathryn Fernholz, President of Dovetail Partners, and Sandra Lupien, Director of MassTimber@MSU, on April 3rd from 3:00pm - 4:00pm as they present on the topic “Mass Timber: How to Think About the Carbon Value Proposition.”

The natural carbon storing power of wood is amazing and offers great opportunities for its carbon value proposition. However, attempts to value the carbon benefits of wood in comparison to alternatives and following similar models as fossil-derived materials have made it difficult for the marketplace to get it right. What might a system look like that fully accounts for the benefits of wood from forests to finished products and back again?

To learn more about the webinar and to register, you can visit the event page here.

Sustaining our Sector: The Role of Diversity & Inclusion in U.S. Forestry and Wood Products

Please join the U.S. Inclusion Council for the latest on diversity and inclusion in our sector's workforce on March 27 from 4-5 ET / 1-2 PT. Kedren Dillard, Dovetail Partners board member, will be on the panel of presenters.

Inclusion Council leaders will set the tone of a space for leadership and support by sharing lessons and insight from their careers as leaders in the field. In this session, we will take on urgent questions like:

•What are the labor challenges the forest and wood products sector is facing?

•What do we know about labor in the sector?

•What is being done to address these challenges and lay the groundwork for a sustainable sector?

Register Here

Dovetail Supports Bioeconomy Policy Priorities

The Bioeconomy Coalition of Minnesota brings together everyone involved in the bioeconomy to collaborate and grow the industry, along the entire value chain from research and development to production and use. It aims to make Minnesota the place to build the bioeconomy. Dovetail Partners, a member of the Bioeconomy Coalition of Minnesota, signed on to the policy priorities. The top priorities include the following:

  • fully funding the Bioincentive Program so that Minnesota can fulfill its commitment to companies that have made investments in the state, and the program can continue to attract additional projects
  • implementing a clean fuel standard, supporting E-15 blending year-round, and investing in biofuel blending infrastructure
  • supporting markets for wood residuals, bug-infested waste wood, and other underutilized wood

  • bolstering biogenic carbon reduction, reuse, and storage
  • supporting on-site biomass waste utilization for heat and electricity generation
  • advancing sustainable aviation fuel production and use in Minnesota
  • amending the definition of biomass in the 100%Clean Energy Standard to include waste wood and wood chip biomass
  • advancing the development of anaerobic digestion projects in the state

Learn more here

Welcome to the Team!

Amy Doty is joining Dovetail as an Associate and brings expertise in Event Management, Sustainable Events, and Community Engagement.

Welcome to the team, Amy!

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