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20.9.03

4.3 million acres

I went to Google to try to find more information about the following interesting facts from a Washington Post letter to the editor:

From 1992 to 2001, 91 national forests had a cash-flow loss of $2.95 billion from logging 4.3 million acres to cut 31.8 billion board feet. That's a loss of $685 an acre.

On the other hand, 17 forests turned a profit of $15 per acre or $1.72 per thousand board feet. While that's not a huge profit, it at least isn't a drain on taxpayers.


I figured one way to do it (since the letter didn't say where those facts came from) was to search some of the numbers. So I tried "4.3 million acres." I wasn't able to find the source of the letter's 4.3 million acres, but I did find out that there are 4.3 million acres of (among other things):



4.3 million acres is such a versatile figure. I'll have to remember it in the future.

UPDATE: A more general search for information about proftability of logging public lands has provided plenty of reports that support the letter's general conclusion -- that logging is a money-loser for the National Parks (as well as contributing to fire danger). It looks like the logging industry could use a dose of actual capitalism (i.e. having to make ends meet), rather than continuing to subsist on the public dole.

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