Just to save you from the suspense – the answer is GAINING! Here’s the report from the website of industry publication, Random Lengths.
Report details forest growth in northern U.S.
“A study by U.S. Forest Service scientists details a 28% increase in forest coverage over the last 100 years in northern states. States in the study are Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.”
These states are where American began. Logging was intensive and extensive in those states and then industrialization began. More forest land there? We always have been told that once it’s gone, it’s gone. Not so.
RL linked to the Forest Service article, which noted that on March 12, 2012, “U.S. Forest Service scientists released an assessment that shows forest land has expanded in northern states during the past century despite a 130-percent population jump and relentless environmental threats.”
Also, the article noted,
“These trees benefit rural and urban communities by protecting soil from erosion, reducing energy consumption, collecting carbon emissions and providing clean water. Forty-eight percent of the North’s water supply originates on the forests that cover 42 percent of the land. Population in the region rose from 52 to 124 million people during the past 100 years, while northern forest coverage expanded from 134 to 172 million acres.
In its economic evaluation, the northern forest assessment states that about 441,000 people work in the forestry, logging, wood products, and pulp and paper industries – accounting for about 40 percent of all U.S. jobs in these sectors.
Way down in this story, the article claims: “Total U.S. forest land remained essentially unchanged during that time.” Do we believe that? No! Private forestland owners out here in the Pacific Northwest re-plant thousands of acres of logged-off acres every year. The number of cu. ft. of trees is INCREASING out here on private lands. Maybe they mean USFS lands are unchanged?
Do you think this news will make the front pages of any national newspapers? The lead story in any national broadcast or cable news shows? We don’t either.