Southern Forest Resource Assessment - Summary Report
The Southern Forest Resource Assessment was initiated in 1999 as a result of concerns raised by natural resource managers, the science community, and the public regarding the status and likely future of forests in the South. These included changes to the region’s forests brought about by rapid urbanization, increasing timber demand, increasing numbers of satellite chip mills, forest pests, and changing air quality. In response to these issues, leaders of four of the region’s Federal natural resource agencies (USDA Forest Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), and the Tennessee Valley Authority, agreed to work together to provide a careful evaluation of the overall condition and ongoing changes of southern forests. State forestry and fish and wildlife agencies were invited to take part and have actively contributed to the effort. The USDA Forest Service, through the Southern Region and Southern Research Station, has provided overall leadership.
The Technical Report (General Technical Report SRS-53) and this Summary Report are the culmination of more than 3 years of effort by more than 25 scientists and analysts from the above agencies as well as southern universities. More than 100 scientists from universities, State and Federal agencies, industry, and conservation organizations provided peer reviews to enhance the reports’ accuracy and completeness. This Summary Report is intended to provide its reader with an overview of the many forces of change affecting southern forests and the changes they produce. It summarizes the detailed results reported by Assessment Team members in individual chapters of the full Technical Report. The information contained in the body of the Assessment should enhance public understanding of southern forests, inform public debate, and improve public policies that result.