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How Much Timber Has America Cut?

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This article describes an attempt to measure the quantity of timber cut in the United States for commodity use during the 300-year period between 1630 and 1930. In the absence of other similar estimates the results may be of sufficient interest to warrant publishing the findings. The author desires to emphasize that high accuracy is not claimed for these figures. No amount of computation can make up for the lack of recorded facts. The results shown are based on data, some of whidh are incomplete or imperfect, modified and developed by factors many of which can not be verified, while those for the earliest decades must be rated as little more than careful guesses. Fortunately the decades where the greatest uncertainties exist contribute least to the total. For that reason the enormous size of the saw-timber cut may be justified, even though it exceeds by two trillion board feet the figure of 5.2 trillion feet commonly used as the estimate of original stand. Unless the estimated cut of 7.2 trillion feet is seriously in error, it seems probable that the original stand was more than eight trillion feet. Growth and damage figures running into fewer but comparable trillions probably also should be regarded as part of the American forest history.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Publication date: 1935-01-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.675 (Rank 20/64 in forestry)

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    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

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