Status and Progress in Large-Scale Assessments of the Productive Capacity of Forest Ecosystems in the United States

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Abstract:

The Montreal Process is a forest sustainability reporting framework adopted by 12 temperate‐boreal nations consisting of 7 basic criteria and 64 indicators. This article focuses specifically on criterion 2, maintenance of the productive capacity of forest ecosystems, and its five indicators: area of forestland and net forestland available for timber production; growing stock and annual increment on forest available for timber production; area, percent, and volume in plantations; and annual removals of nonwood forest products (NWFP). We compare historic and current inventory processes, discuss the implications of each, present criterion 2 indicator highlights, and identify gaps in our current knowledge. In general, the productive capacity of US forests is strong. Forest and timberland areas have been stable for over 50 years, net growth continues to exceed removals, growing stock volume is up 51% since 1953, and planted forests continue to increase in area and provide a larger share of the nation's annual wood production. NWFPs continue to be difficult to track but progress has been made.

Keywords: annual inventory; forest area; growth; nonwood products; planted forest; timber harvest; volume

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • 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.
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