Arkansas Makes Small Gain in Forest Acreage in 10-Year Period

NOVEMBER 29, 2006 - Posted at 7:51 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Arkansas gained 87,300 acres of forestland from 1995 to 2005, but the state Forestry Commission says the increase is relatively small.

Assistant state forester George Rheinhardt says the state picked up almost one million acres of forestland from 1988 to 1995.

The study found 18.8 million acres of forestland spread throughout the state. Most of the acreage, 70 percent, includes hardwood trees. Pines comprise 41 percent.

Since 1995, the study says, 48,200 acres of forestland have been developed and 136,000 acres of farmland have been converted to forestland.

Officials with the Arkansas Forestry Association trade group say the data will help timber companies and others in the forest service products industry plan for the future.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)