Forecasts of land usesThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
- Between 30 million and 43 million acres of land in the South are forecasted to be developed for urban uses by 2060 from a base of 30 million acres in 1997. These forecasts are based on a continuation of historical development intensities.
- From 1997 to 2060, the South is forecasted to lose between 11 million acres (7 percent) and 23 million acres (13 percent) of forests, nearly all to urban uses. All of the South’s five subregions are expected to lose at least some forest acreage under all evaluated futures.
- Strong timber markets can ameliorate losses of southern forest somewhat, but this comes at the expense of cropland uses.
- Among the South’s five subregions, the Piedmont is forecasted to lose the greatest proportion of its forest area—21 percent under the highest-loss forecast—by 2060. The Mid-South and Mississippi Alluvial Valley are forecasted to lose the smallest proportion (between 8 and 9 percent).
- At 34 percent, Peninsular Florida is forecast to lose the most forest land of the 21 sections nested within the South’s five subregions. All sections within the Piedmont subregion are forecasted to lose at least 19 percent of their forest land.
- The area of cropland in the South is forecasted to decline by as much as 17 million acres from 1997 to 2060 from a base of about 84 million acres in 1997. Cropland futures assume constant real returns to agricultural products.
- Cropland losses would be highest in North Carolina, southern Florida, and central Texas.