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5-year report highlights status of Washington's forest resources

The first five-year report on Washington's forest resources has been published by the USDA Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station and is available online at Printed copies will be available beginning this Friday, June 11.

"This report represents a major milestone for the station's Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program," said Charley Peterson, manager of the station's Resource Monitoring and Assessment Program, which oversees the PNW FIA 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."

The report, Washington's Forest Resources, 2002-2006: Five-Year Forest Inventory and Analysis Report, highlights findings from the most-recent data collected by the PNW FIA Program. Among the report's findings:

  • Washington's total land area is 43 million acres, 22 million of which are forested. Forested acreage is divided somewhat evenly between the western and eastern parts of the state along the Cascade Crest.

  • Washington's timber harvest volume has been declining since 1989. However, between 2000 and 2006, total lumber production increased. Washington will likely continue to be one of the top-three softwood lumber producing states.

  • 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.


Contact: Yasmeen Sands
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station

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