Special Projects Administrator, ODNR-Division of Forestry
Urban Forestry Administrator, ODNR-Division of Forestry
Ohio's forests are a tremendous asset to its citizens. Forests cover almost one out of every three acres and are important to urban dwellers and rural landowners alike. Forests provide many benefits as homes for wildlife, playgrounds for recreationists, vistas for sightseers, and filters for air and water. Ohio's forests are the foundation of a multi-billion dollar wood industry and grow some of the finest hardwood trees in the world.
As we entered the 20th century, Ohio's forests were threatened. The state had witnessed a 150-year period of forest removal, where thousands of acres of trees were cut to clear farmland for a growing and hungry nation. The trend reversed about the time of World War II, and today's forest has come full circle. At a time when the nation and world worry about a dwindling forest resource, Ohio enjoys an increasing forest, both in size and age. More than a aa half-century of conservation built on sound policy, a resilient resource, and motivated landowners has spawned a remarkable forest renewal.
Forests face increasing pressure. Worldwide interest in quality hardwoods make Ohio's forests highly valued for wood. Landowners currently enjoy the highest prices ever offered for timber. At the same time, more people see the "forest for the trees," and value the role they play in creating a healthy environment and adding to the quality of life. They see the importance of conserving trees. Interest in these sometimes opposing objectives is creating even greater challenges for the stewardship and use of our forests.
The 1991 Ohio Forest Survey is an important benchmark for measuring change in Ohio's forests. It is the key assessment of statewide forest conditions and will be invaluable for charting the course of forest management into the 21st century.
As we enter this new period, the Division of Forestry is committed to nurturing and caring for these forests. With the help of thousands of partners who are interested in and dedicated to the forests and their care, we will continue to increase Ohio's forest health into the next century.
Ronald G. Abraham
Chief, Division of Forestry
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
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Keith L. Smith, Associate Vice President for Ag. Adm. and Director, OSU Extension.
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