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The Southern Forest Futures Project: Summary Report


The Forest Landscape of the Southern United States

Key Findings of the Southern Forest Futures Project

  1. A combination of four primary factors will interact to reshape the South’s forests.
  2. Urbanization is forecasted to result in forest losses, increased carbon emissions, and stress on other forest resources.
  3. Southern forests could sustain higher timber production levels, but demand is the limiting factor and demand growth is uncertain.
  4. Bioenergy Futures Could Bring Demands that are Large Enough to Trigger Changes in Forest Conditions, Management, and Markets
  5. A combination of factors has the potential to decrease water availability and degrade quality. Forest conservation and management can help to mitigate these effects.
  6. Invasive species create a great but uncertain potential for ecological changes and economic loss.
  7. An extended fire season combined with obstacles to prescribed burning would increase wildfire-related hazards.
  8. Private owners continue to control forest futures, but ownership patterns are becoming less stable.
  9. Threats to species of conservation concern are widespread but are especially concentrated in the Coastal Plain and Appalachian-Cumberland subregions.
  10. Increasing populations would increase demand for forest based recreation while the availability of land to meet these needs is forecasted to decline.


Literature Cited

Appendix: Overview of Chapters From the Technical Report of the Southern Forest Futures Project

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Southern Forest Futures Project

Key Findings

Forestry Sciences Laboratory

3041 Cornwallis Road
RTP, NC 27709
(919) 549-401