cubic feet) nationwide between 1991 and 2040 (Table A-21). Forest-industry softwood inventories are expected to decline between 1991 and 2000 but increase by nearly 47 percent between 2000 and 2040. In contrast, softwood inventories on nonindustrial private lands will fluctuate minimally between 1991 and 2040 because of an approximate balance between timber removal and growth. The trend for private hardwood inventories is unclear; however, industrial and nonindustrial hardwood inventories are anticipated to be lower in 2040 than in 1991. On industrial and nonindustrial lands, inventories will be concentrated in timber ages near or below minimal merchantable limits. Although regional variations will occur, private forests will be younger and, on average, smaller in diameter than in the past. In addition, (USDA Forest Service 1995a).

Nonfederal forests accounted for more than 75 percent of the nation's net annual growth of growing stock in 1991 (Table A-22). Of the nonfederal portion (16 billion cubic feet), one-quarter was held on industrial forestlands. In general, hardwood net annual growth is expected to decline and softwood growth to rise through 2040 on industrial and nonindustrial forestland.

Growth and inventory trends on nonfederal forests are likely to have important impacts on water quality, wildlife populations, and recreation values. For example, on private lands, habitat will shift to favor species that can use early-and mid-successional stages of forest development; on public nonfederal forestlands, mid-to-late successional habitat will become more abundant.

Nontimber Forest Products

Nonfederal forests are also a source of nontimber products, such as pine cones, honey, mushrooms, and maple syrup. Currently, more than 450 special forest products in 18 categories are harvested from American forests (USDA Forest Service 1993). In the Northeast, for example, the gathering of pine cones for seed or decorative purposes is common on private forestland. From state-owned public forestland, Minnesota has sold between $8,000 and $10,000 worth of pine cones annually. Traditional food products (pine nuts, camas, and huckleberries) are gathered by tribal members, wildcrafters (Box 3-1), and recreational visitors on nonfederal forestlands. In 1990, the value of honey production in Florida was an estimated $10 million, most of which is attributable to an apiary in the Apalachicola National Forest near Tallahassee (USDA Forest Service 1993a). Forest industry leases bee rights on substantial portions of the Atlantic Coastal Plain and Flatwoods, providing a significant base of honey production.

In the Pacific Northwest, harvesting of mushrooms is an economically and socially important activity in many nonfederal forests. For example, the Washington Department of Natural Resources leases land to individuals to harvest mushrooms. Mushrooms are currently generating sales over $125 million in the Pacific Northwest, with a work force of over 10,000 people. Little is known about the conditions that produce these fungi, yet harvests continue to increase.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement