chapter  Chapter 2
20 Pages

Current and Historical Trends in Use, Management, and Disturbance of U.S. Forestlands

WithRichard A. Birdsey, George M. Lewis

This chapter provides the quantitative areal basis for estimating the effects of land use, land-use change, forest management, and natural disturbance on the carbon content of forestlands. It analyzes trends in forest resource conditions and reconstruct portions of the history of US forests of the 20th century using readily available, and sometimes obscure, public information collected by the US government, principally the US Departments of Agriculture and Commerce. The chapter presents a great quantity of information. Tropical forests of the US are located in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and other tropical islands such as Guam and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, with which the United States has a formal territorial relationship. Additional information is usually available about ownership, management, species composition, and disturbance. Nonstocked forestland was more common in the East in 1953 because of poor regeneration rates after harvest and a legacy of frequent wildfire.