than half of Washington state is forested, about 23 million acres
in all, according to Washington's Forest Products Industry: Current
Conditions and Forecast 2004. The report is produced annually by
the Inland Northwest Forest Products Research Consortium.
About 16.2 million acres are classified as commercial forests. In
2001, the forest products industry contributed more than $3.5 billion
to the state's $222.9 billion gross state product.
two-thirds of the state's forests are owned or managed by government
entities, including native American tribes. The U.S. Forest Service
manages the most, about 9.2 million acres. The second largest public
manager is the Washington Department of Natural Resources, which
manages 2.1 million acres. Thirty-six percent of the state's forests
are privately owned, with about half owned by the forest product
industry and managed for timber production.
Private forests account for most of the timber harvested in the
state. In 2002, according to the report, private land provided 3
billion board feet of the 3.6 billion board feet of timber harvested
in the state. Harvests from federal land accounted for only three
percent of the total. Harvests from state lands accounted for 15
percent of the state's timber production.
The Forest Products Consortium is a research cooperative
centered at the Forest Products Department at the University of
Idaho; the Bureau of Business and Economics Research at the University
of Montana, Missoula; and WSU's Wood Materials and Engineering
Laboratory. Keith Blatner, chair of WSU's department of natural
resource sciences, is one of the report's authors.
Big Is an Acre?
acre is a unit of land measuring 43,560 square feet. By comparison,
the playing surface of an NCAA college football field, not including
end zones, is 48,000 square feet. The term, which originated in
England, describes how much land a pair of oxen could plow in