Status of hardwood forest resources in the Appalachian region including estimates of growth and removals
The Appalachian Hardwood Region (AHR) is an important wood producing area of the Eastern United States and is near a large portion of the U.S. population that is growing considerably. Combined, these two forces create the need for assessments of the hardwood forest resources in the region. Here we present results from an investigation into the forest resources of the AHR with particular emphasis on the growth and removals of hardwood timber volume in the region. Total timberland acreage in the AHR remained relatively unchanged from the late 1980s and early 1990s (time 1 estimate) to the most recent estimate (time 2). However, the hardwood forests of the AHR continue to mature and a concomitant decline in early successional hardwood forests is being realized. Moreover, shifts in species composition may be occurring in the region. According to estimates of growth-to-removals ratios, while removals are increasing, growth continues to outpace removals at almost 2 to 1. This study provides an important assessment of the current status and recent utilization of hardwood species in the Appalachians. In addition, it provides a framework in which to continue to monitor the resources of the AHR.