Washington State Forests: In Good Shape

PORTLAND, Ore., June 10 (UPI) — A federal report on the status of Washington State’s forests says the state will continue to be one of the nation’s top three softwood-producing areas.

The report, prepared by the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station, is the first five-year report that covers all of that state’s forests.

“This report represents a major milestone for the station’s Forest Inventory and Analysis Program,” said Charley Peterson, manager of the station’s Resource Monitoring and Assessment Program. “In our annual inventory of Washington State’s forest lands, this is our first inventory report to cover all forests, not just timberlands, and the first that addresses a range of resources such as carbon sequestration, biodiversity, dead wood abundance and riparian conditions.”

Among other things, the report finds:

– Washington’s total land area is 43 million acres, 22 million of which are forested.

– Washington’s forests are presently a net sink for carbon. Growth of trees significantly exceeds harvest and mortality overall, owing to trends on public lands and young, rapidly growing trees on private industrial lands.

“Considering the growing population in Washington and that over half of the area is forested and provides numerous valuable services and products for the state, many people should find this report informative,” Peterson said.

The report is accessible online at http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/pnw_gtr800.pdf. Printed copies will be available beginning Friday.

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Categorized | Biodiversity, Other
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