Unless solutions can be found that ensures land owners realize the full value of the benefits provided by forests to society, they are at risk of disappearing. According to an analysis of the impacts of future housing density on American forests, vast areas of land are being converted to suburban and urban uses. In South Carolina alone, 1.3 million acres of land is expected to be impacted by suburban and urban development between 2000 and 2030. That’s a little less than the 1.5 million acres or so of lands currently under protection. The map above shows data from 2000-2020.


WRI analysis of housing density projections (Theobald, 2009) and forest cover (NLCD 2001 Landcover, USGS, 2007); forest cover (NLCD 2001 Landcover, USGS, 2007); administrative boundaries (ESRI Data and Maps 9.3.1, ESRI, 2008).

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This map is part of a continuing project to produce maps that shed light on significant environmental issues throughout the world.