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The Healthy State of U.S. Forests

The Healthy State of U.S. Forests

Forest growth on private U.S. timberlands exceeded harvest by 40% in six years

Following quickly on the heels of the Canadian government’s report, The State of Canada’s Forests, a group in the United States has published a similar report on the health of privately-owned U.S. timberland.

The National Alliance of Forest Owners’ (NAFO) report on “U.S. Forest Inventory and Harvest Trends on Privately Owned Timberlands” indicates that between 2008 and 2013, approximately 40% more wood was grown than was harvested on privately-owned timberlands in the study area.

NAFO is an organization of private forest owners committed to advancing policies that promote the economic and environmental benefits of privately-owned forests. With a membership covering more than 80 million acres of private forestland in 47 states, NAFO conducts targeted policy advocacy at the national level. Other interesting facts on the value and importance of private forests in the U.S. include:

  • Since 1953, overall growth has exceeded harvest, and the total volume of growing trees on U.S. timberlands has increased by 50%;
  • In recent years (1982-2007), the total acres of forest land has remained stable;
  • Overall inventories have shown that the volume of harvestable wood increased between 2008 and 2014 by 6.2%, and that harvest removals on privately-owned timberlands have declined by 3.3% over 2008 levels;


The State of Canada’s Forests report provides similar confirmation that Canada’s forests are sustainably harvested although most of Canada’s forests are on publicly-owned lands (about 90% of the total forest area).

To learn more about harvest trends on privately-owned land in the U.S., visit the NAFO website.

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