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AMERICAN FOREST RESOURCE ALLIANCE CHIEF ECONOMIST RESPONDS TO FOREST SERVICE'S 1992 FORECAST OF TIMBER DEMAND

 AMERICAN FOREST RESOURCE ALLIANCE CHIEF ECONOMIST
 RESPONDS TO FOREST SERVICE'S 1992 FORECAST OF TIMBER DEMAND
 PORTLAND, Ore., Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement was issued by Con Schallau, American Forest Resource Alliance (AFRA) chief economist, on the release today of the Forest Service's 1992 forecast of timber demand:
 "Contrary to today's announcement by the U.S. Forest Service, the nation could be facing a substantial timber shortage and not realize it.
 "The agency acknowledges some reductions in timber supply -- mainly due to the adoption of new forest plans that call for less harvesting on the national forests. Nevertheless, the Forest Service asserts that more imports of lumber from Canada and increased investment in intensive forestry on private lands -- mainly in the South -- will compensate for the harvest shortfall on public lands.
 "However, the agency is pinning its hopes on accelerated paper recycling, believing that it will result in significant additional timber inventories.
 "Except for assuming more recycling of paper, today's optimistic forecast is based essentially on the same assumptions used in the agency's 1990 Resources Planning Act (RPA) assessment. In fact neither forecast acknowledges the cumulative negative impact on timber supply of numerous issues that could seriously reduce harvesting on the nation's private and public forest land.
 "Aside from underestimating the potential impact of the northern spotted owl, the Forest Service continues to ignore issues such as biodiversity, wetlands, the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker, and more stringent guidelines for managing privately-owned forest property.
 "Finally, the assumption that Canada can continue to supply us softwood lumber at current levels to the year 2010 -- it currently provides almost 27 percent of our softwood -- is unrealistic. British Columbia has already announced plans to reduce harvesting from public lands by 10 percent to 15 percent. In addition, pressure by preservationists could lead to even greater reductions.
 "Balanced planning for the use of private and public forests cannot proceed without an accurate and comprehensive assessment of the timber supply and demand situation. For example, how can a forest be properly evaluated without accounting for the nation's ability to supply future timber requirements?
 "Last year, a study commissioned by the American Forest Resource Alliance revealed the possibility of a significant shortfall in future timber supplies due to public policy constraints. Subsequently, others have expressed misgivings about the Forest Service forecasts.
 "For this reason, we believe it is time for the agency to revise the assumptions it uses to project future timber supplies. To do otherwise will perpetuate a widely held myth that we can continue to preserve more forest land and not deprive future generations of much- needed forest products."
 -0- 12/4/91
 /CONTACT: Con Schallau, 202-463-2795, or Barry Polsky, 202-463-2455, both of the American Forest Resource Alliance/ CO: American Forest Resource Alliance ST: Washington, California, Oregon IN: PAP SU:


JH-LM -- SE012 -- 9384 12/04/91 16:54 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 4, 1991
Words:472
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