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Individual Highlight

Study Forecasts Changes in Southern Forests Between 2010 and 2060

Photo of Snapshot : In May 2011, the Forest Service and the Southern Group of State Foresters unveiled the SFFP, a multi-year research effort that among other things projects that the South may lose 23 million acres of forests over the next 50 years.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Wear, David N.  
Research Location : U.S. South
Research Station : Southern Research Station (SRS)
Year : 2011
Highlight ID : 427


The Futures Project provides forecasts of forest conditions and describes implications of alternative futures for a series of ecosystem services and resource conditions-labeled meta-issues. The Project intends to inform policy and management choices with a thorough discussion of potential resource scarcities and a range of plausible future forest conditions in the U.S. South.

The Futures Project forecasts the effects of urbanization, bioenergy use, climate change, land ownership changes, and invasive species over the next half century and discusses how those influences may affect water, wildlife, fire and other issues. These concerns were identified through a series of public meetings held throughout the 13 southern states.

The SRS economics unit's project leader (David Wear) served as co-leader of the Project and the unit provided eight of the seventeen chapters of the Technical Report with four unit scientists participating. The unit's forest forecasting team, a cooperative effort with North Carolina State University provided all technical forecasts ant the foundation of the Futures Project. More than 30 scientists, researchers, foresters and other experts with Forest Service, state forestry agencies and universities contributed to the study.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Southern Region, State and Private Forestry, University researchers, Southern Group of State Foresters

Program Areas