Forest Policy

November 28, 1975

Report Outline
Current Debate Over Forest Practices
Use and Protection of Timber Reserves
Pressures for Change in Forest Policy
Special Focus

Current Debate Over Forest Practices

Conflicting Demands on American Forest Lands

America's forests are today the subject of a bitter debate that seems certain to intensify in the months ahead. At issue are broad and complex questions about forest management: How much timber should be harvested, and where? How should trees be logged? How much forest land should be preserved for wilderness, wildlife and watershed? How can various recreation demands be reconciled? Can the forests be managed to satisfy all these needs? At stake in this debate are not only future timber supply and national housing demands, but the very future of the nation's forests.

With the increase in public concern over the environment in the past few years, America's forests have aroused widespread attention and controversy. Demands on the forests are growing—and are often competing. The timber industry fights with wilderness preservationists; hikers and backpackers battle with trail-bike riders and off-road vehicle drivers; defenders of wildlife contend with hunters and fishermen; second-home developers argue with land-use planners. All of these groups want to ensure that future forest policies protect their interests.

Meanwhile, public demand for lumber, paper and other forest products, which was relatively stable for much of this century, is increasing rapidly. Between 1942 and 1972, U.S. consumption of timber for industrial wood products such as lumber, plywood and wood pulp went up 56 per cent to 13.7 billion cubic feet. By the year 2000, according to U.S. Forest Service estimates, demand for timber products will almost double to reach an annual level of some 23 billion cubic feet. Based on current forest policies, timber production by the end of the century could fall short of demand by between 2.5 billion and 8.1 billion board feet.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Environmental Protection
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Apr. 22, 2016  Managing Western Lands
Jul. 18, 2014  Regulating Toxic Chemicals
Sep. 20, 2013  Future of the Arctic
Jun. 14, 2013  Climate Change
Nov. 06, 2012  Vanishing Biodiversity
Nov. 02, 2012  Managing Wildfires
Nov. 04, 2011  Managing Public Lands
Aug. 26, 2011  Gulf Coast Restoration
Jul. 2010  Plastic Pollution
Feb. 2010  Climate Change
Jan. 09, 2009  Confronting Warming
Dec. 05, 2008  Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
Nov. 2008  Carbon Trading
Oct. 03, 2008  Protecting Wetlands
Feb. 29, 2008  Buying Green
Dec. 14, 2007  Future of Recycling
Nov. 30, 2007  Disappearing Species
Feb. 2007  Curbing Climate Change
Dec. 01, 2006  The New Environmentalism
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Oct. 25, 2002  Bush and the Environment
Oct. 05, 2001  Invasive Species
Nov. 05, 1999  Saving Open Spaces
Jun. 11, 1999  Saving the Rain Forests
May 21, 1999  Setting Environmental Priorities
Mar. 19, 1999  Partisan Politics
Oct. 16, 1998  National Forests
Jun. 19, 1998  Environmental Justice
Aug. 23, 1996  Cleaning Up Hazardous Wastes
Mar. 31, 1995  Environmental Movement at 25
Jun. 19, 1992  Lead Poisoning
May 15, 1992  Jobs Vs. Environment
Jan. 17, 1992  Oil Spills
Sep. 20, 1991  Saving the Forests
Apr. 26, 1991  Electromagnetic Fields: Are They Dangerous?
Sep. 08, 1989  Free Market Environmental Protection
Dec. 09, 1988  Setting Environmental Priorities
Jul. 29, 1988  Living with Hazardous Wastes
Dec. 20, 1985  Requiem for Rain Forests?
Aug. 17, 1984  Protecting the Wilderness
Jun. 15, 1984  Troubled Ocean Fisheries
Aug. 19, 1983  America's Disappearing Wetlands
Feb. 22, 1980  Noise Control
Nov. 16, 1979  Closing the Environmental Decade
Oct. 13, 1978  Toxic Substance Control
Feb. 27, 1976  Pollution Control: Costs and Benefits
Nov. 28, 1975  Forest Policy
May 30, 1975  Wilderness Preservation
Dec. 20, 1974  Environmental Policy
Nov. 14, 1973  Strip Mining
Dec. 01, 1971  Global Pollution
Jul. 21, 1971  Protection of the Countryside
Jan. 06, 1971  Pollution Technology
Jun. 19, 1968  Protection of the Environment
Oct. 30, 1963  Noise Suppression
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Forests and Rangelands