Forests in the Long Sweep of American History

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Science  15 Jun 1979:
Vol. 204, Issue 4398, pp. 1168-1174
DOI: 10.1126/science.204.4398.1168


The role of forests in the American society and economy has changed greatly over the past 200 years, as is evidenced by data on acreage in forests, on volume of standing timber, on amount of annual wood growth, on amounts and form of wood utilization, and on prices for forest products. The two most dramatic facts in a long history of forest utilization have been the near fourfold increase in annual wood growth in the past 60 years and the persistent and major underestimate by the U.S. Forest Service of the wood production potential of American forests.