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Does the U.S. Face a Shortfall of Timber?

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Recent studies show that the demands for timber from domestic forests are likely to grow rapidly in the decades ahead. Supplies, on the other hand, will increase rather slowly if forests continue to be managed much as they have been. These projections and the widening gap between them have been viewed by some in terms of a physical shortfall. In a free market economy, however, there will not be a shortfall. Prices will rise until there is an equilibrium between demands and supplies. Rising relative prices will limit the expansion potential of the timber industries. They will also mean higher costs to consumers, increased dependence on imports, greater environmental costs associated with expanding use of substitutes, and acceleration in the rate of use of nonrenewable resource.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Forest Economist with the USDA Forest Service, Washington. D.C.

Publication date: 1978-05-01

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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)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 39.6 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

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