Summary Report Released
The Summary Report has been released as Southern Research Station General Technical Report 168.
Major Findings Unveiled
The U.S. Forest Service and Southern Group of State Foresters unveiled findings of the Southern Forest Futures Project on May 17, 2011.
The project is a multi-year research effort that forecasts changes in southern forests between 2010 and 2060.
- Read the News Release
Video of News Conference
- Jennifer Plyler, Assistant Director of SRS
- Liz Agpaoa, Regional Forester
- Dave Wear, Project Co-Lead
- Rob Doudrick, Director of SRS
- Charlie Morgan, Mississippi State Forester
- John Greis, Project Co-Lead
- Ken Arney, Deputy Regional Forester
News conference transcript
Please click here to download a copy of the transcript.
Project Leader Biographies
- David Wear, co-project lead, economist, Southern Research Station
- John Greis, co-project lead, forester, Southern Region
Over the next 50 years, multiple forces will interact to determine the future of southern forests.
- Over the next 50 years, multiple forces will interact to determine the future of southern forests.
- Urbanization could reduce the amount of forests—up to 23 million acres, roughly the size of South Carolina—and change their character.
- More people means more demands for additional goods and services from a declining forest base.
- Population growth will bring more runoff from roads, buildings, and parking lots as well as increased pollution, impacting supplies of clean drinking water and the quality of aquatic habitats.
- Wildfire potential increases; more numerous and more severe fires are forecasted.
- More frequent and intense wildfires will pose additional challenges to community and forestry wildfire organizations.
- The spread of plant, insect, and disease pests could severely affect native species, forest productivity, and wildlife.
- More than 1,000 plant and wildlife species of conservation concern could be threatened by urbanization, climate change, and invasive species.
- Forests could support higher levels of timber harvest than present, but demands are uncertain, especially for bioenergy.
The following documents provide details on the project’s findings:
For more information, click here to visit the News page.
About the Southern Forest Futures Project
The Southern Forest Futures Project (SFFP) is a multi-year research effort that analyzes and forecasts probable changes in southern forests between 2010 and 2060. It builds from the Southern Forest Resource Assessment completed in 2002 and addresses a set of contemporary issues surrounding forests in the South.
Using computer modeling and cutting-edge scientific analysis, SFFP presents a range of plausible futures or scenarios of the South’s forests based on a variety of influences such as urbanization, bioenergy, climate change, land ownership changes, and invasive species. Forecasts provide a foundation for examining several broad “meta-issues” affecting southern forests, including fire, bioenergy, water supply, and wildlife.
The overall goal of SFFP is to inform land management strategies, policy discussions, and program decisions with the clearest understanding of the potential long-term implications of changes in forests of the 13 southern states.
The research project was chartered by the USDA Forest Service Southern Region, the Forest Service’s Southern Research Station, and the Southern Group of State Foresters.
SFFP will release findings in two phases:
Phase 1: Two reports that examine issues across the South:
- A 17-chapter technical report containing detailed findings;
- A summary report that provides a synthesis of the most critical findings
Phase 2: Separate reports that detail the implications for forest management and conservation in the five subregions of the South.
Project organizers will release Phase 1 draft findings in early 2011 and issue the five subregional reports in the subsequent months.
Last Modified: April 24, 2013