Forests in the Central Hardwood region are undergoing change in terms of area, volume, species composition, and forest structure. These forests are dominated by deciduous species; are increasing their average stand size, volume, and age; and, are experiencing woody plant species replacement as shade intolerant species are being replaced by more shade tolerant species. As changes progress, concerns are being raised regarding the potential for these lands to produce the wide array of benefits associated with timberland. Changes in the forest resource as well as changes in land ownership and management objectives have repercussions for wildlife species, timber industries, recreational interests, and the wide array of other benefits reaped from this invaluable resource.
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We are a multi-faceted agency that manages and protects 154 national forests and 20 grasslands in 43 states and Puerto Rico. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is made up of 29 agencies and offices with nearly 100,000 employees who serve the American people at more than 4,500 locations across the country and abroad.
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We provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management.