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Looming job losses should concern everyone, especially those in an obscure industry like forestry, which, though not as glamorous as, say, oil field wildcatting or tornado chasing, is nevertheless essential to the health of the U.S. economy. Forestry is a crucial industry for the obvious reason that it provides employment for hundreds of thousands of Americans who find, harvest and craft the raw material for homes, offices and so many other products. Those products are used every day by billions of people around the globe.
As it happens, the forestry industry also provides a useful illustration of the problems created by monopolies, according to a new study from George Mason University’s EconoSTATS program. There are currently three main forest certification standards programs recognized in the U.S., including the American Tree Farm System, the Forest Stewardship Council, and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. These programs govern how forests are managed and harvested.