Editorial—U-S Forest Service report is sobering

Every ten years federal law requires the Forest Service to assess natural resource trends. The one just issued projects a significant loss of forest land to suburbanization and fragmentation. To our Oconee County mind, they are hard words to understand. But the bottom line meaning to all of us who care about the forests is the potential loss of privately-owned forests to development, which could substantially reduce benefits from the forests that the public now enjoys.

U-S Forest Service scientists and partners at universities, non-profits and other agencies found urban and developed land areas in the U-S will increase 41 percent by 2060. Forested areas will be most impacted by this growth, with losses ranging from 16 to 34 million acres in the lower 48 states. The study also examines the effect of climate change on forests and the services forests provide.

It sounds like that, with all our other problems, our cherished and valuable forest land has just been added to the country’s to-do list.

That’s our view. What’s yours?