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Forest inventories in California include more than trees
Date:12/3/2008

PORTLAND, Ore. December 3, 2008. The first 5-year forest inventory report for California's private and public lands is now available to the public: California's Forest Resources, 2001-2005: Five-Year Forest Inventory and Analysis Report.

Here are some key findings from the report:

  • Forests cover about a third of the state's 100 million acres;19 million acres is publicly managed.
  • Houses built in the wildland-urban interface account for most of the housing growth in the state over the last 10 years implying that forest managers will be tasked with fire hazard reduction, prevention, and suppression on an increasing area.
  • Insects, diseases, air pollution, and fire shape the forested California landscape. More than 200,000 forested acres burned on average annually between 2001 and 2005.
  • Modeling crown fire potential under extreme weather conditions showed that fire would occur as a surface or conditional surface fire in 72 percent of forests, and as a passive crown fire in only 20 percent of forests.
  • In most cases, fuel treatment may require only the removal of ladder fuels (smaller diameter trees) rather than thinning mature trees in the upper canopy.
  • The capacity of wood-using bioenergy facilities has increased resulting in California facilities being able to generate over 470 megawatts of electricity.
  • Carbon storage for live and dead trees, and downed wood are highest in redwood and Douglas-fir forest types when evaluated on a per-acre basis.
  • More than 13 million acres of forest land is privately held; about 5 million acres is owned by industry, and 7 percent of this acreage is managed by a timber investment management organization (TIMO) or real-estate investment trust (REIT) which may manage the land for a variety of investment purposes.

The data from the FIA reports are used by state, federal, and private land managers, investors, and others for a va
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Contact: : Sherri Richardson Dodge
srichardsondodge@fs.fed.us
503-808-2137
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station
Source:Eurekalert  

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Forest inventories in California include more than trees
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