Covering nearly 400 million acres, forests of the Eastern United States create one of the most dynamic environments in the world. Serving as a vital habitat for an astonishing variety of plants and wildlife, including globally significant and priority bird species, the Eastern Forest is a key component of the Atlantic Flyway. And that’s just the beginning. The Eastern Forest supports an ecosystem that provides up to 48% of our water supply and is crucial to maintaining erosion and flood control. As one of the principal carbon sinks in the U.S., the forest also helps mitigate the effects of climate change by absorbing and storing carbon.
New York’s forests are an important component of the Eastern Forest, offering some of the largest and most intact forested landscapes in the Atlantic Flyway. Stretching from the Pine Barrens of Long Island, through the Hudson Highlands and Catskills, across the Allegheny Plateau, all the way north to the Tug Hill Plateau and the Adirondacks, New York’s forests are home to more than three dozen bird species of conservation concern. A well-managed, resilient, and diverse forest ecosystem provides critical habitat for birds during all seasons.
Economically, the Eastern Forest in New York State contributes to a $4 billion forest products industry and generates nearly $14.5 billion in revenue related to outdoor recreation and tourism.* The Eastern Forest also provides related jobs and contributes to the overall viability of many local communities. Clearly, conservation of the New York Eastern Forest’s natural habitat is important to the quality of life for people as well as birds and other wildlife.
* Source: United States Forest Service