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The State of U.S. Forests

Information from the United States Forest Service (includes most recent data, 2005) continues to show that:

  • forestWe have about the same amount of forestland in the United States today as we did 100 years ago.
  • U.S. forests cover nearly 750 million acres or one-third of our entire land base.
  • We’ve added more than 10 million of acres of forestland in the last 20 years alone.
  • And the standing inventory – the volume of growing stock – of hardwood and softwood tree species in U.S. forests grew by nearly 50 percent since 1953.
    • All of this is true thanks to the impressive efforts of Mother Nature, as well as to the environmental stewardship of our industry, which devotes great attention to managing our forests responsibly.

It’s not just the U.S. Forest Service data making this case.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, in a report issued in November 2006, the United States is one of the world’s leaders in forest growth, continuing to show gains in forestland for the past 15 years.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations:

  • The region’s forest resources remain abundant.
  • Further, the United States has about 150 million acres of forestland designated primarily for conservation, accounting for 75 percent of the total designated in all of North America (Canada, Mexico & U.S.).
  • Forestland in the United States designated primarily for conservation has increased over 4.5 million acres since 2000.

How is all of this true?

Along with the conversion of prior agricultural land to forestland, some 4 million tree seedlings are planted each day. Of this amount, the wood and paper products industry plants 1.7 million every day, more than making up for what is harvested.

updated: Wednesday, December 5, 2007 5:45 PM