Friday, June 19, 2009

Harvests on Virginia National Forests

A just published study by the US Forest Service examines fluctuations in timber harvests on southern National Forests. Looking at the results for Virginia shows:
  • The volume contained within the National Forests within Virginia represent about 11% of the total volume found in all Virginia forests.
  • Removals (harvests for the most part) from National Forests comprise about 2.6% of removals from all Virginia forests.
  • Reported harvests from Virginia National Forests show a steady decline since 1991 in volumes harvested. Volume harvested in 2006 was less than 1/4 of the amount harvested in 1991. (see chart)
As the study concludes, the decline in timber harvesting reflects the change in National Forest System objectives from serving as a source of timber supply to serving as reservoirs for biodiversity, recreation, aesthetics, and other uses.

(chart developed from tables in the USFS report)
For further details see:
Oswalt, S. N., T. G. Johnson, M. Howell, and J. W. Bentley. Fluctuations in national forest timber harvest and removals: the southern regional perspective. Resour. Bull. SRS–148. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 30 p.