Who owns America's forests?

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Who owns the forestlands?

image description There are more than 750 million acres of U.S. forestland (That’s one-third of the U.S.) Of that, 56% is privately owned. According to a survey by the USDA, these private landowners plan to sell or transfer around 25% of their forested land in the near future. Ultimately it’s the landowners who will decide what happens to U.S. forestland. These forests provide all of us with ecological and social benefits, but it’s the landowner who has to pay to own and maintain them. Currently, growing trees can help provide the income they need for those expenses.

Private landowners plant about 4 million trees every day, which is 3-4 times more than they harvest. This gives them the income they need to maintain, renew and manage this valuable forest resource sustainably. Without that income, landowners face economic pressures to convert forestland to other uses, including growing other crops that are more profitable or selling the land for development. In both cases, the forest is removed forever.

Between 1990 and 2000, more than one-third of the urban expansion across the U.S. occurred on forestlands. More than 57 million acres of rural forestlands are projected to experience a substantial increase in housing density from 2000 to 2030.