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Title: Assessing the Impacts of Forests on Human Welfare: Prelimnary Results from the Mid-Atlantic Integrated Assessement

Author: Mercer, D. Evan; Aruna, P.B.;

Date: 2000

Source: Enviromental Monitoring and Assessment 63: 43-63, 2000

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Abstract. This paper presents results from the first phase of the socio-economic assessment of forest ecosystems in the Mid-Atlantic Integrated Assessment (MAIA). First, we present results of the analysis of changes in the distribution of human population and forest land use in the region. Then, trends in wood products employment and income between 1975-95 are used to examine the economic contributions of forest-based industries in the Mid-Atlantic region. Between 1970-90 the population of the MAIA region increased by 14% (4.3 million people) resulting in the average population density increasing by 25 people per square mile from 179 to 204 people per square mile. Nevertheless, population density was lower in large parts of the region in 1990 than in 1950. Although forests dominate the MAIA landscape, the trend is toward more people owning smaller forest land holdings, with developed lands increasing by 21% and rural lands decreasing by 2.64% between 1982-94. All of this suggests increasing forest fragmentation in all states of the region except New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Forest industry has been an important contributor to the economy of the MAIA region, producing an average of a quarter million jobs (2.03% of all wage employment) and generating $4.5 billion in wages and salaries each year between 1975-95. If recent trends continue, forest industry will continue to be an important source of employment and income for parts of some states in the MAIA region; however, the forest industry's importance relative to the entire mid-Atlantic economy will likely continue to decline in the 21st century.

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Mercer, D. Evan; Aruna, P.B. 2000. Assessing the Impacts of Forests on Human Welfare: Prelimnary Results from the Mid-Atlantic Integrated Assessement. Enviromental Monitoring and Assessment 63: 43-63, 2000


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