America's Renewable Resources: Historical Trends and Current Challenges

By Kenneth D. Frederick; Roger A. Sedjo | Go to book overview

3
Forest Resources: Resilient and Serviceable

Roger A. Sedjo

The favorable condition of American forests today is remarkable considering the tremendous pressures that people historically have placed on the forests. From the relatively undisturbed condition of forests in precolonial days to the rapid conversion of forest to agricultural land during the mid-1800s to early 1900s and to the recovery of forest stocks since then, U.S. forests have demonstrated their serviceability and resiliency.

This chapter traces the history of U.S. forests and forestland--that is, land at least 10 percent stocked by forest trees of any size, including land that formerly had tree cover and will be naturally or artificially regenerated--and examines both how Euro--Americans used the forests and the factors influencing this use. The chapter focuses on the forest as a source of wood resources in the form of industrial wood (wood that is processed into products such as lumber, paper, and wood panels) and on forestland as a source of land that can be converted to nonforest uses, particularly agriculture. Only limited attention is given to the multiple uses of forest other than timber because

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America's Renewable Resources: Historical Trends and Current Challenges
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Esources for the Future v
  • Contents vii
  • Tables x
  • Figures xi
  • Preface xiii
  • 1: Overview: Renewable Resource Trends 1
  • References 21
  • 2: Water Resources: Increasing Demand and Scarce Supplies 23
  • Notes 71
  • Appendix 2 72
  • References 75
  • 3: Forest Resources: Resilient and Serviceable 81
  • Notes 115
  • Appendix 116
  • References 118
  • 4: Rangeland Resources: Changing Uses and Productivity 123
  • Notes 161
  • Appendix 4 162
  • References 163
  • 5: Cropland and Soils: Past Performance and Policy Challenges 169
  • References 203
  • 6: Wildlife: Severe Decline and Partial Recovery 205
  • Notes 241
  • Appendix 6 242
  • References 245
  • 7: The Growing Role of Outdoor Recreation 249
  • Notes 279
  • Appendix 280
  • References 281
  • About the Authors 283
  • Photo Credits 284
  • Index 285
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