Kansas forestland acreage decreases for first time in 81 years

High Plains Journal
October 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

For 81 years, the forests and woodlands of Kansas have been inventoried by the U.S. Forest Service in collaboration with the Kansas Forest Service at Kansas State University to track changes in the size and condition of this valuable resource. The most recent inventory information … provides insights into how much of Kansas is forested and with what types of trees. Forest land in Kansas has increased in area almost every year, from 1.2 million acres in 1936 to 2.4 million acres in 2016. For the first time since 1936, however, instead of forestland increasing in area, it decreased… It is unclear what caused the reduction, but it may be associated with the purposeful removal of trees in woody encroached grasslands and the conversion of riparian forest into cropland, according to Bob Atchison, rural forestry coordinator with the Kansas Forest Service.

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