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People within and beyond the Appalachian region derive a multitude of benefits from its diverse ecosystems.

The storage of carbon in forested landscapes—in the form of plants and soils—is a crucial component of climate change mitigation. Appalachian forests provide this service in great abundance.
Timber and nontimber forest products are widely harvested in the Appalachian region. These practices have high cultural and economic value, supporting rural livelihoods and supplying products at a global level.
Many Appalachian communities place high value on living in rural, often largely forested, places. Appalachian landscapes are also a prime destination for nature-based recreation activities.
The Appalachians provide clean water to millions of people within and beyond the region, and to many urban areas that are often distant from the water sources on which they depend.