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How much Old Growth Forest still exists?

Sometimes, after reading articles or seeing news stories, one would think there is little or no old growth forest left.  The fact is that nearly 3 million acres of Old Growth Forest exists today in Washington State after nearly 150 years of mostly uncontrolled logging.  That must indicate that most of the existing Old Growth Forests are located in areas that would be very difficult to log and that is why those areas were not logged in those first uncontrolled 100 years. 

 

A photo of old growth trees is loading........What is very interesting is that after those 100 years of uncontrolled logging, approximately 6% of the State of Washington is covered in Old Growth Forest.  No one really knows how much of the State was covered in Old Growth Forest before logging began because natural fires caused by lightning burned much of the forests.  Today 45% (20.4 million acres) of the State of Washington is covered in forests.  Most of those forests are logged and replanted forests.  Today five trees are planted for every tree that is logged.

 

However, the remaining nearly 3 million acres of  Old Growth Forest” in Washington State will offer you more opportunity to visit old growth forests than you will have time in your lifetime to visit and amazingly, some of it is even located in cities and lowland areas that you can drive right to the Forest.  Most of the Old Growth exists at the end of long hikes into rugged terrain and there are many National Forest and National Park trails that are well maintained that will give you access to some of the remotely located Old Growth Forests.

 

To give you an idea of how much “Old Growth Forest” there is in the State of Washington, 2,838,432 acres is equal to 3.6 times the area of the State of Rhode Island.

 

 

Old Growth Forests in Washington State

 

A photo is loading........Total old growth forests in Washington State total 2,838,432 acres according to the United States Department of Agriculture in Publication PNW-RB-197

 

The publication lists, as part of that total, 693,000 acres of old growth forest in Washington’s three national parks (Mt. Rainier, Olympic, and North Cascades National Parks).   This total is nearly the size of the State of Rhode Island.

 

Further, the publication lists 1,955,588 acres of old growth forests in National Forests in Washington State.

 

Old Growth Forests in Oregon State

Total old growth forests in Oregon State total 4,905,544 acres according to the United States Department of Agriculture in Publication PNW-RB-197.

 

The publication lists 50,480 acres in Oregon’s National Parks, 4,335,957 acres in Oregon’s National Forests, and 9,550 acres in Oregon’s State Parks.

 

To give you an idea of how much “Old Growth Forest” there is in the State of Oregon, 4,335,957 acres is equal to 5.5 times the area of the State of Rhode Island.

 

 

Old Growth Forests in other areas.

The British Columbia Ministry of Forests estimates that there are 62 million acres of old growth forests in the Province of British Columbia, Canada which is just north of Washington State. 

 

To give you an idea of how much “Old Growth Forest” is in British Columbia, 62 million acres is about the size of the State of Oregon or 78.7 times the area of the State of Rhode Island.

 

According to the United States Department of Agriculture there are 10,269,042 a acres of old growth forests in Washington, Oregon, and California which is 13.3 times the area of the State of Rhode Island.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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