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Facts and Figures about Foresty




  • Industry Groups
    Establishments involved in forestry operations are classified in NAICS Code 113. 15763In 2012 there were 15,763 forestry establishment listed under the NAICS Code 113. These establishments are divided among three distinct industry groups:

    • Timber tract operations (NAICS code 1131): This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in the operation of timber tracts for the purpose of selling standing timber.

    • Forest nurseries and gathering of forest products (NAICS code 1132): This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in (1) growing trees for reforestation and/or (2) gathering forest products, such as gums, barks, balsam needles, rhizomes, fibers, Spanish moss, ginseng, and truffles.

    • Logging (NAICS code 1133): This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in one or more of the following: (1) cutting timber; (2) cutting and transporting timber; and (3) producing wood chips in the field.

    Forest Land
    The U.S. Forest Service defines a forested area as “forest land” if it is at least 1 acre in size and at least 10 percent occupied by forest trees of any size or formerly having had such tree cover and not currently developed for non-forest use.(Examples of nonforest uses include areas for crops, improved pasture, residential areas, and other similar areas.) Forest land includes transition zones, such as areas between heavily forested and nonforested lands that are at least 10 percent stocked with forest trees, and forest areas adjacent to urban and built-up lands.

    The United States has about  751.2million acres of forest land. (U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012; 2007 data) Of that land, approximately 249.1 million acres (33.8 percent) are owned by the Federal Government. The remaining 487.6 million acres are owned by nonfederal entities, such as State or local governments, private citizens, or companies.

    The majority of Federal forest land is managed as the national forest system (NFS). The NFS includes:

    • National Forests reserved from the U.S. public domain,
    • National Forests acquired through purchase, exchange, donation, or other means,
    • National grasslands,
    • Other lands, waters, or interests administered by the U.S. Forest Service (FS) or designated for administration through the FS as part of the system.

    The NFS manages 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands and contains 193 million acres, (193/112) or 77 percent, of Federal forest lands. The NFS is contained in 44 States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands and employs 30,000 people. Of the remaining nonfederal forests, privately held commercial forest lands make up the largest portion, accounting for 347 million acres (71 percent). (National Forest Service)

    Timberlands
    Seven-Tenths of U.S. forest lands, or 514.2 million acres of the total 751.2 million acres of forest land, are classified as timberlands. Timberlands are defined as forest lands used for the production of commercial wood products. Commercial timberland can be used for repeated growing and harvesting of trees.

    Of the 514.2 million acres of timberland, Federal, State, and local governments own 112.7 million acres (22 percent) and non-industrial private entities own 401.5 million acres (78 percent). Private timberlands are mostly on small tracts of forest land. (U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012; 2007 data)

    Consumption of Forestry Products
    The United States is one of the world’s leading producers and consumers of forest products. Before the 2008-2009 global recession, which pushed the forest product industry into a recession as well, the United States was the world’s leading producer and consumer of forest products. In December 2012, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reported that the global forest products industry began recovering from the economic crisis and China has begun to emerge as a leading producer and consumer.  Other top producers include Canada, Brazil, Russia, Germany, and Japan. The United States is the world’s largest producer of industrial roundwood, sanwood, and fibre furnish (2011 Global Forest Products Facts and Figures).

    The U.S. forest products industry produces $200 billion in sales a year and employs about one million workers.  The forest production industry is also the leading generator and user of renewable energy.  In 2011 the U.S. forest production industry recovered 66.8 percent of paper consumed.Trend in US Forestland Area 1630 to Present  source:

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