A brief history of forests and tree planting in Arkansas
Forests are vital to the socioeconomic well-being of Arkansas. According to one recent report, Arkansas is the eighth leading wood-producing State (Smith and others 2009), providing billions of dollars of economic contributions related to the timber industry (University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture 2009). Additional benefits of Arkansas forests include tourism, hunting and fishing, water and air quality, and other goods and services that collectively make Arkansas forests an unsurpassed resource (figure 1). With such abundance today, it is difficult to imagine how much the Arkansas timber resource has changed during the past two centuries and, in particular, how much the forests have recovered since large-scale lumbering ended around 1930. Although most of this renewal started with forest protection and natural regeneration, much of the revitalization is also attributable to widespread replanting, including the reclamation of former agricultural lands.