Trends in Timber Growth
of Forest Service History)
The Conservation Movement, which began in the mid-19th Century, has totally changed how Americans value and manage our nation’s forests and grasslands. Beginning in the late 1800s with Gifford Pinchot and the Homestake Mining Company Timber Case No. 1, professional natural resource management has conserved our precious lands and resources while providing valuable products, services and enjoyment for the citizens of the United States.
National Forest Timber Harvest 1905-2016, MBF*
In the United States there are 155 National Forests containing 193 million acres or 8% of the country, that are managed for many different uses and values – outdoor recreation, timber, clean air & water, forage for livestock, minerals, wildlife, fish, and wilderness. Figure 1 shows the change in timber harvested (board feet) from National Forests during the first 110 years of the Forest Service. Figure 2 compares timber growth, harvest, and mortality (cubic feet) on National Forests over the past 60-70 years.
Annual Net Growth, Mortality, and Harvest
National Forest Timberlands – 1952-2016
Clow, Richmond L. 1998. Timber Users, Timber Savers: Homestake Mining Company and The First Regulated Timber Harvest. Forest History Today, Forest History Society, Durham, NC.
Forest Service. 1939. Rocky Mountain Region Bulletin. Volume 22, No. 3. Denver, CO
Forest Service. 2017. Forest Resources of the United States, 2017: A Technical Document Supporting the Forest Service Update of the 2010 RPA Assessment. Washington, DC.
Newport, Carl A. 1956. A History of Black Hills Forestry. South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. Pierre, SD
Pinchot, Gifford. 1947. Breaking New Ground. Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York, NF. Page 114.
Wilkinson, Charles. 2015. The Greatest Good of the Greatest Number in the Long Run”: TR, Pinchot, and the Origins of Sustainability in America. Volume 26. Colorado Natural Resources, Energy & Environmental Law Review. University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
Williams, Gerald W. and Miller, Char. 2005, Spring/Fall. 2005. At the Creation: The National Forest Commission Of 1896– 97. Forest History Today, Forest History Society, Durham, NC.
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