IntroductionThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Forests cover a vast area of the United States, 303.1 million ha (749 million acres) or approximately one-third of the Nation’s land area (Smith and others 2004). These forests are of substantial ecological, economic, and social importance. Both their ecological integrity and their capacity to provide goods and services are of considerable concern in the face of a long list of threats, including insect and disease infestation, fragmentation, catastrophic fire, invasive species, and the effects of global climate change.