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Summarized Comments and Author Responses: HLTH-1

Comment no. 86:

FIA in the south is currently changing from its traditional periodic inventories to an annual forest inventory system. This is misleading. In fact, under the new methodology, 1/5 of each state will be completed every year so that a complete survey will be done every 5 years instead of every 10. Calling this an "annual forest inventory system" leads the reader to believe that a complete state inventory is conducted every year. This is not the case and needs to be clarified. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Added sentence to end of 3rd paragraph in Sec. 7 -- Final Report


Comment no. 85:

Statement: "Average annual removals of softwood growing stock exceeded average annual growth for the first time in 1999. However, softwood growth should rise once trees on 21 million acres of softwood…begin contributing to estimates of net annual growth.' It is unclear whether or not this projection has considered the hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of acres of planted pines lost over the last 4 years in TN and other states to epidemics of SPB. A statement about the unreliability of projections should be included in this section and all other sections that discuss the contribution of pine plantations to future growth to removal ratios. This has been rewritten and new data is used. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Added sentence to end of 3rd paragraph in Sec. 7 -- Final Report


Comment no. 84:

Despite the fact that there are thousands of owners of forestland, very few of these owners control a majority of the forest. A large number of owners hold their forests for reasons other than profit. Thus, 8% of the owners are largely responsible for the majority of harvest impacts. The willingness to harvest by ownershpi classes also needs to be considered in the SRTS model used in TMBR-1. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Not addressed in this chapter -- Final Report


Comment no. 83:

Key Finding "As of 1999, nonindustrial private forest landowners (NIPF) controlled 71% of the timberland area…" This section needs to consider not only the acreage owned by the traditional ownership classes, but also the ownership by acreage. For example, in the Cumberland Plateau of TN, as few a 8% of the landowners own over 50% of the forestland. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Addressed in another chapter -- Final Report


Comment no. 82:

As of 1987, the south began gaining forestland faster than it was being lost. By 1990, annual gains amounted to 1.3 million acres, while diversions of forest land to other uses amounted to 841,000 acres. How much of this "gain" in forestland was attributable to planted pine? -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Answered in Sec. 5.5.1 -- Final Report


Comment no. 81:

The Key Findings states "Area of timberland has increased by 5 million acres during the past 10 years. Since 1952 the area of hardwoods and oak-pine has increased while pine area has decreased." What has happened with pine area in the last 10 years? How much of the increase in timberland in the last 10 years has been due to the increase in planted pine? -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

First question is answered in Sec. 5.5. The 2nd question is answered in 5.5.1 -- Final Report


Comment no. 80:

HLTH-1 states that TIMOs controlled 4.2 million acres, or 2% of the south's timberland area in 1999. This is an error. TIMOs own and control much more than 4.2 million acres. TIMOs control at least 10-11 million acres of forestland, or about 5% of the total southeastern forest. (see comment letter for specific figures on TIMOs) -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

After discussions with Jacek Siry about the definition of TIMOS's he used in his chapter, I revised the 5th paragraph under Sec. 5.3.1 to better reflect Jacek's definition and estimates of acreage under TIMOs -- Final Report


Comment no. 53:

Figure 22: "Dip in average annual growth due to change in timberland during the 1970s is clearly visible in this figure." Suggest more elaboration since it is not clearly visible. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

I think it is. -- Final Report


Comment no. 52:

Statistics on growth rates, growing stock volume, and mortality would be more meaningful if presented on a per-acre basis for those observations comparing different ownerships across time. Currently the conclusions are confounded by acreage changes. For example, "growth rates have increased on other public timberland" which then has the caveat in the next sentence that this is due to land acquisition. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

This was discussed but not implemented due to the size of the chapter. The information present was deemed necessary and adding additional tables would have produced a chapter that was large and unwieldy. -- Final Report


Comment no. 51:

Suggest including "planted oak-pine" and "tract" in the glossary. The definition of a "tract" as used in the survey should be elaborated upon since it is used frequently and forms the basis for a number of conclusions that may or may not be accurate. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Added definition of "forested tract-size to text in 2nd paragraph under Sec. 5.3.2. (Also, see statement below) -- Final Report


Comment no. 50:

Figure 30: Capitalize "percentage" on the y-axis heading. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 50:

In Section 5.8, it would be useful to point out that the increase in ratio of removals to growing stock is a logical consequence of shorter rotations and an economic benefit with less growing stock capital required to supply wood to society. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Beyond the scope of the chapter. -- Final Report


Comment no. 49:

Figure 8: The symbols used for "over 501" and "under 10" are not clear. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 49:

Section 5.5: "Georgia and Florida are typical" examples of the transition to more pine plantations and less natural stands is an overstatement. They are misleading examples. All the other states have experienced less change. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Rewrote sentence -- Final Report


Comment no. 48:

Table 28: It would help to have some separation in the headings and columns between Natural and Plantation categories. Also, the species names all run together. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 48:

Probable overstatement on p. 10 that "shifts in acres of timberland among NIPF landowners can have an immediate effect….". They have an effect, but the past relatively slow changes in the resource in the face of changing land ownership patterns doesn't indicate immediate effects from this source. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Changed wording in 1st paragraph of Sec. 5.3.1 -- Final Report


Comment no. 47:

Table 23: Font size of 336 in 1989. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 46:

Table 20: Font size of 6851 in 1989. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 45:

Table 16: Font size of 13735 in 1963. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 44:

Table 15: Font size of 2399 in 1963 and 18551 and 3827 in 1982. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 43:

Table 14: Font size of 14902 and 2151 in 1982. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 42:

Table 12: Watch font size and spacing of 9305 in Florida and 6648 in Virginia. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 41:

Table 10: Watch font size of 16137 in 8-12 class and 3441 in 18-22 class. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 40:

Table 9: 51 and 160 in Alabama are different font sizes. Total lines are difficult to read when they fall on next page. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 39:

Table 8: Several numbers are in a different font size (3432, 6672, 5326, 21889, 1839). Also, the layout of the first page of this table is different than the next few pages. Other large font numbers include 4627 in Florida, 6070 in Georgia, 2,16?? In Louisiana, 2,96? in Mississippi, 2093 in North Carolina, 2672 in South Carolina, and 1468 in Virginia. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 38:

Table 7: The numbers shown in Alabama 1982 for All Classes, and in Arkansas 1999 for Softwood and Hardwood Sapling-Seedling is a different font size. Don't you just love MS word? Also, the footnote for this table extended onto the page for Table 8. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 37:

Table 4: In the heading, "Nonstocked" is a larger font and not spaced over the column of numbers. The data from several states are missing from this Table as it skips from Georgia to South Carolina. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 36:

Table 2: In the Total Public heading, "total" is misspelled. It would be extremely helpful if the headings were repeated at the top of each page in all your tables. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 35:

Table 1: In footnote b, you reference using data from Smith for Oklahoma. Actually, we had a mid-cycle inventory done in 1981. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

All changes and revisions to table and graphs are being done by Susan Bowman -- Final Report


Comment no. 34:

In the Literature Cited, W. Brad Smith listing, substitute a number for the "xxx". -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 33:

In 6 Conclusions: In the 4th sentence, insert "much of" before "the South's". In the 3rd paragraph, "growing-stock" is run together in two places. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Inserted, and corrected -- Final Report


Comment no. 32:

In 5.12.1 Distribution of timberland: In the next to last sentence of the last paragraph, insert a space after "percent". -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Corrected -- Final Report


Comment no. 31:

In 5.11 The Effects: There are two periods in the very last sentence of this section. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Corrected -- Final Report


Comment no. 30:

In 5.10 southwide growth: Spell out the number 1 in third sentence as you did in the second sentence. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 29:

In 5.7.1 Growth trends: In the second paragraph, delete "as" in first sentence. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 28:

In 5.7 Trends in growth: Insert a space before "7 percent". Also, hypenhate growingstock in last sentence. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Inserted space, and inserted space between "growing" and "stock". -- Final Report


Comment no. 27:

In 5.6 Trends in growing stock volume: In the first sentence, insert a comma after "produce". -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

-- Final Report


Comment no. 26:

In 5.5.2 Stand age structure: In the second paragraph, use "50 years of age" instead of "50 years old". -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Changed the phrase -- Final Report


Comment no. 25:

In 5.5.1, Shifts: Move heading to next page. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 24:

In 5.5, Trends in stand origin, In the 5th paragraph, CRP was offered as an incentive to farmers/ranchers (not so much NIPF owners) to convert lands to trees. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Changed sentence to read "farmers and ranchers" in place of "NIPF" -- Final Report


Comment no. 23:

In 5.4.2 Distribution of timberland by stand size: At the end of the first bullet, use a period instead of a colon. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Corrected -- Final Report


Comment no. 22:

In 5.4.1 Distribution of timberland area by forest type: In the 4th paragraph, to be consistent, you need to add a sentence about trends in the white pine group. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 21:

In 5.3.2 Ownership, tract size: Estate tax laws often force heirs to break large tracts into smaller ones to generate funds to pay taxes. As children inherit large tracts from their parents, they are often split between them, resulting in smaller acreages that may ultimately be sold. Large landowners may choose to sell off parcels to generate income or pay taxes. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Likely true, but FIA data limits our analysis to reporting tract size and tracking the change in ownership and average size of tracts. The topic of taxes and the effect on timberland is addressed in another chapter. -- Final Report


Comment no. 20:

In 5.3.1 Trends in NIPF: In the 4th paragraph, insert a space before "a rise" in last sentence. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 19:

In 5.2 Changes and trends: The last sentence of the second paragraph needs a period. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 18:

In 5.11 Diversions: In the 3rd paragraph, add a zero to 406,00. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Done -- Final Report


Comment no. 17:

In 5.1 Changes in forest land area: In the 4th paragraph, you imply that CRP was created to reverse the trend of declining forest land. Actually, CRP was created to retire marginal agricultural land in order to reduce erosion and reduce crop production by establishing these lands in permanent vegetation. CRP proved a boon for tree planting in some states. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

I understand CRP's original intent. I state that the program "helped" return idle crop and pasture to forest. I reworked the sentence to make that point clearer. -- Final Report


Comment no. 5:

Converting a quarter of the south's forests to pine farms and the degradation of adjacent forests from pine deserts, combined with human sprawl seems to leave too little of the biological commons intact and healthy. How much would be too much to cut before recovery opportunity is irreparably harmed? How many additional acres of native woodlands will be negatively affected by invasive species coming out of pine farms? -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

I have no idea. -- Final Report


Comment no. 2:

What have been the trends and what sorts of lands are targeted for conversion. What percentage of current and future pine farms are to be established by clearing native woodlands. Virtually all pine farm establishing is occurring on native woodlands in my bioregion. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Not answered in toto in this chapter, but some information about "conversions" is included in Sec. 5.5 and 5.5.1 -- Final Report


Comment no. 1:

The term "forested tract-size class" in Table 4 is confusing and needs clarification. Based on cited references, I believe in Table 4 the authors are referring not to the size of contiguous forest cover (ie, areal extent important for wildlife) but to the areal extent of ownership parcels for economics and land management. The authors might want to change the name "tract-size" to "owner parcel size" and define the term precisely in the glossary. -- Draft Report

Response by Roger Conner and Andy Hartsell:

Defined on 2nd paragraph, Sec. 5.3.2. Rewrote the tract-size section to better reflect how the data are collected, and to more clearly describe what they represent. -- Final Report

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