Southern Forests: The Wood Basket of the Nation

The forests of the southern United States are known as the “wood basket” of the nation as they generate more than 55 percent of U.S. timber harvests by volume. In fact, the region’s forests produce more wood products than any other nation, except the United States itself. Although southern forests comprise just 2 percent of global forest cover, they produce 25 percent of the world’s pulpwood for paper and 18 percent of its industrial timber.

The map shows hotspots of timber activity, measured by the amount of board feet milled in local lumber mills per hectare (1 hectare is equivalent to 2.5 acres). The South has among the most intensively managed forests for timber, across the greatest land area. Only the Pacific Northwest has higher timber production per unit area, but it is concentrated in a smaller region.

WRI developed the map using data gathered by the United States Forest Service in its Timber Products Output database for 2007.For more information, visit the Timber Products Output website.


Forest Cover Gain/Loss