Atlanta Business Chronicle – by Carla Caldwell , Morning Call Editor
Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 4:51am EDT
In Georgia and the Carolinas the decline could be as much as 22 percent. In Florida, as much as 30 percent of forests could be lost, according to the forest service.
“The summary report clearly demonstrates the urgent need for developing a collaborative strategy to conserve and restore southern forests,” Forest Service Southern Regional Forester Liz Agpaoa said in a statement.
The loss of forest land will result in more runoff water and decreased water quality along with an increase in the frequency and severity of wildfires, analysis and computer models found, the report says.
The study is the first in-depth forecast on forests in the South prepared by the agency and was compiled with the input of more than 30 scientists, foresters and other experts with the Forest Service, state forestry agencies and universities, according to a statement.