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Managing the Woody Biomass Feedstock: The Past Century in Review

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MANAGING THE WOODY BIOMASS FEEDSTOCK: The Past Century in Review

Foresters and timberland managers have successfully managed the renewable natural resource, presently termed woody biomass, in the United States over the past century meeting consumer demand without exhausting supply.
At the turn of the 20th century, President Theodore Roosevelt warned Congress, with subsequent hyperbole appearing in New York Times headlines, that "a timber famine is inevitable.” Mr. Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the United States Forest Service, echoed the sentiment by proclaiming, "In twenty years the timber supply in the United States on Government reserves and private holdings, at the present rate of cutting, will be exhausted.” The timber famine or scarcity never happened, despite the increased consumer demand placed on our Nation’s timber resources through the roaring twenties, post-World War II boom and other high growth periods.
 
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Published in Issue of Forest Landowner Magazine

 

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