A public consultation has started on a draft corporate plan for new Scottish Government agency Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS).
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland’s national forests and land cover around nine per cent of Scotland’s land mass and are a treasured natural asset.
“The forests contribute around £1 million each day to Scotland’s economy, support around 11,000 jobs and welcome around 10 million visitors every year.
“Added to this, they are vital in our fight against climate change and soak up around 3 million tonnes of CO2 each year.
“I want our national forests and land to contribute more to our economic ambitions for Scotland, and to be recognised and valued as a vital natural and national asset, now and in the future.”
Scotland’s national forests and land are also home to thousands of species from rare plants to red deer to golden eagles.
It hosts nine starter farms which support new entrants into agriculture and produces one billion watts of renewable energy, enough to power 500,000 homes.
Chief Executive of Forestry and Land Scotland, Simon Hodgson added:
“I am delighted to be leading this consultation to develop a new corporate plan, the first since I took up post as Chief Executive of Forest and Land Scotland.
“It will give me and everyone at FLS the chance to meet and hear from stakeholders and the public on how they want us to look after the nation’s forests and land.
“Our vision is to create a natural powerhouse that Scotland can be proud of and enjoy.
“We want Scotland’s forests and land to contribute more to sustainable economic growth in rural areas and to provide more opportunities for people to benefit from all they have to offer.
“And they have a vital role to play in helping to achieve our climate change and environmental ambitions.
“The corporate plan will help us shape our direction of travel for the next three years and I’d welcome views from anyone with an interest in Scotland’s national forests and land.”
The public consultation on the draft corporate plan closes on Friday, July 5.
To access the plan and share your views please log on to the Scottish Government Consultation Hub.