Green Jobs Factsheet

Tuesday, February 9, 2010
photo: By Steve Zugschwerdt

The economy is in deep decline, and America needs jobs.

When people talk about creating “green jobs,” they’re often referring to work in the renewable energy sector. There are also green jobs in the woods, improving water quality, restoring habitat, and muting the effects of climate change. Research has shown that for every $1 million invested on restoration, between 13 — 29 jobs would be created or retained and over $2.1 million in total economic activity generated.

This fact sheet provides details about the number and kinds of green jobs that could be created restoring America’s rivers and streams and enhancing wildlife habitat by reclaiming unneeded Forest Service roads.

Along with climate change, arguably the biggest ecological impediment to healthy forests is the massive road system. Leftover from the era of big timber, this road system is often convoluted and unmanageable — seriously impairing water quality, degrading wildlife habitat, shrinking the roadless backcountry, and not meeting the growing recreational needs of our nation well. Moreover, it is expensive, with backlogged maintenance, by some estimates, upwards of $10 billion and growing every year. Investing in restoring our watersheds and forest ecology by decommissioning and obliterating these unneeded roads would make huge strides towards improving the health of our nation’s forests.

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