Forest Facts

arne at arne at
Thu Feb 1 19:47:01 EST 1996

1. We still have 70% of the forests that were here in 1600: 737 million acres 
of forests in the U.S. (Forest Resources of the U.S. 1992, USDA-FS, Gen'l 
Tech. Rpt. 1993.)

2. 247 million acres are RESERVED from harvest by law or are slow growing 
woodlands unsuitable for timber production. (ibid)

3. (The other) 490 million acres are called timberlands, forests that can 
produce more than 20 cu.ft. of wood per acre, annually. They're growing more 
trees today than 40 years ago. (ibid)

		1952		1992	Gain
Hardwoods	184,090		335,722	82%
Softwoods		431,794		449,895	04%
(millions of cubic feet)

4. The timberlands of the U.S now contain 28% MORE standing timber volume than 
in 1952. (ibid)

5. There are 13.2 million acres of old-growth in the U.S., most in the Pacific 
Northwest. Over 8 million acres (that's 12,500 square miles) are preserved in 
parks, wilderness, and other set asides. (effectively much more since the 
Northern Spotted Owl ESA finding) (Quick Facts About America's Forests, AFPA, 
1992) (Sure they're a trade organization; so prove them wrong.)

6. The above set-asides would amount to a band of forest over 4 miles wide 
from San Francisco to New York.

7. Wood is recyclable, renewable, sustainable, durable, biodegradable.

(Source: Forest Resource Fact Book, National Hardwood Lumber Assoc., P.O. Box 
34518, Memphis, Tenn, 38184-0518) Yes, I know, these guys must be a trade 
group, too. But who do you the Sierra Club, Inc. , the NRDC, Inc. et al are? 
Check out the facts.

Most "recycled" paper furnish can only accept a limited amount of used 
fiber, due to its short fiber length. There needs to be a significant quantity 
of virgin fiber. Much of the recycled content is also pre-consumer, that is 
paper that was broke, job-lotted, or in some other way unsellable. The forest 
products profession is one of the most efficient, we use everything and waste 
next to nothing. And the vast majority of us leave the woods in better shape 
than we started. I just don't see very many members of the public that bother 
to come out and see. Most folks would rather accept what the eco-lobby tells 

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