Posthaste Facts on the Environment #2

Myths About America's Old Growth Forests

Published 1992

The frequent claim that America's old-growth forests are on the verge of extinction is nonsense. They will exist for many years to come.

Myth: All old growth forests will be wiped-out within 20 yrs. Fact: There will be old growth forests for generations to come. Some 7.5 million acres of old growth forests are included in national wilderness areas, national parks or other set asides. These trees will never be harvested.

Myth: Only 10% of the old growth forests still exist. Fact: It is impossible to determine how much of the old growth forests have been harvested. However, the proposition that 90% of these forests have been harvested is absurd -- this assumes that all forest land was, at one time, "old growth." Naturally occurring fires, windstorms and the like have ensured that our forests possess trees of various ages and species.

Myth: The federal government subsidizes the harvesting of old growth forests by permitting logging in national forests. Fact: Logging in national forests has consistently yielded government profits. In 1989, for example, the government received $662.5 million from logging operations in national forests in Oregon and Washington.

Source: Industry Week, February 18, 1991


Posthaste Facts on the Environment #2, published in 1992 by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 501 Capitol Court, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002, 202/543-4110, Fax (202) 543-5975, E-Mail [email protected], Web http://www.nationalcenter.org. For more information about Posthaste #2 contact Bob Adams at 202/543-4110 or [email protected]

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