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Forestry

timber forests world control

Forestry, management of forests for productive purposes. In the United States, a forestry program emerged in the 1890s because of fears of a “timber famine” and following exploitation of the Great Lakes pine forests. Congress authorized the first forest reserves in 1891; creation of the Forest Service in 1905 put forestry on a scientific basis. The most important aspect of forestry is the production of lumber. Because of worldwide depletion of timber stocks, it has become necessary to view forests as renewable productive resources, and because of the time scale and area involved in the growth of a forest, trees need more careful planning than any other crop. Forestry work plans for a continuity of timber production by balancing planting and felling. Foresters also work to prevent and extinguish forest fires, which destroy about 3 million acres (1.2 million hectares) of timber each year. Other important functions are disease, pest, and flood control. The forester must control the density and proportions of the various trees in a forest and ensure that people do not radically disturb a forest's ecological balance. The science of forestry is well advanced in the United States, which is the world's largest timber producer and has more than 25 forestry schools across the country. However, only 20% of the world's forests are being renewed, and timber resources are declining.

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