- Less than 4% or under 40 million
acres of America’s original forests remain in existence. According to the
World Resources Institute, less than 1% of "Frontier Forests"--large,
contiguous virgin forests with all the species intact--still exist in the
lower 48 states.
- Of the original 1.04 billion acres
of virgin forest in the U.S., over 96% has been cut down.
- Most of these last original forests
are found on National Forest land and other public lands.
- Most of these remaining public forests
have no legal protection from clearcut logging.
- America’s natural forests were once
filled with magnificent trees, up to 400 feet tall—as high as a forty-story
- America’s forests used to contain
millions trees from 500 to over 2000 years old.
- The U.S. Forest Service continues
to log hundreds of thousands of acres of forests per year, including virgin
- Hundreds of plant and animal species
found in the the national forests are listed as endangered or threatened,
and may soon be extinct. Extinction is forever.
- Each new mile of road construction
costs taxpayers about $50,000. The Forest Service plans to build 2,000 miles
of new roads every year for the next decade.
- There are approximately
400,000 miles of roads on our National Forests, mostly logging roads—about
10 times the road mileage of America's Interstate Highway system. Most of
these roads were built as a taxpayer subsidy to giant timber corporations
to clearcut our wild and natural forests on public lands.
- Every year, the Forest
Service spends over $2 billion on its logging program. This money ends up
as profits of giant American and Japanese timber corporations.
- In the 1990’s, the top ten timber
corporations together made over $2.5 billion in profits each year.
- Two timber industry executives rank
in the top 10 in salaries in the US, each earning over $12 million per year.
- Native salmon stocks are facing extinction
due to logging in the Pacific Northwest. In 1994, the $1 billion annual
commercial salmon fishing industry was shut down from lack of fish, costing
- In 1991, only 4 adult sockeye salmon
(and only one female) made it back to Idaho’s principal salmon spawning
ground, Redfish Lake.
- The West’s famous trout fishing is
in serious decline from logging erosion that destroys fishing streams. Trophy
bull trout are endangered, and native cutthroat and rainbow trout are threatened
with extinction in Idaho.
- 97% of America’s giant Redwoods have
been cut down. Financier Charles Hurwitz bought the last private stand of
Redwoods and is now logging unprotected old Redwoods and other Ancient Forests
on his property.
- From 1960 to 1986, the amount of
garbage produced by each American per year increased by 80%.
- Every year Americans throw away 391,400,000,000
pounds of trash. Over 45% of this, or 176,130,000,000 pounds, is wood and
- Using recycled paper or tree-free
alternative paper for one print run of the Sunday New York Times would save
- Provide clean drinking water (over
1/3 of America’s fresh drinking water flows from our National Forests)
- Provide billions of tons of fertile
- Offer habitat to 1000’s of species
of plants and animals
- Create a buffer against rapid changes
- Absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
to protect the earth from the greenhouse effect
- Absorb water to prevent flooding
(recent floods in Missouri, Oregon, Holland, and Bangladesh were all exacerbated
- Are the primary source of new medical
compounds including cures for cancer
- Provide spawning grounds for ocean
and freshwater fish
- Are our last living links with ancient
New York Times, 1994;
Forest Statistics of the U.S, USDA Forest Service, 1991;
1990 Resources Planning
Act, USDA Forest Service, 1990; TPR01 Report, USDA FS, 1993;
Forbes Magazine, April
1992; Business Week, March 1994