– Tree population loss since 2010: 17.7% (1.5 million hectares)
– Tree population, 2021: 7.2 million hectares
– Estimated CO2 emissions from tree cover loss: 773.2 tons
Under the Alabama Forest Action Plan, protection of private land from development through the donation of voluntary conservation easements has escalated over the past two decades, in part due to increased incentives for income and estate tax savings.
Most of Alabama’s forest (93%) is privately owned, and 90% of that acreage is owned by people who want their forests to remain forests. 55% of those surveyed stated that they had little interest in selling their property. Still, the plan cited forest fragmentation — which happens when forests are split into smaller plots due to ownership changes — as one of the challenges facing Alabama’s forests, along with invasive species.
Timber production is also a major player in the state’s industry. In 2017, forestry created more than 43,000 direct jobs and in 2018 created nearly 2,000 new jobs in 54 new major projects with a capital investment of $1.3 billion. Alabama is the second largest commercial forest base in the US and is among the top producers of wood pulp.
The 773.2 tons of carbon dioxide emitted since 2010 due to tree cover loss is equivalent to the emissions from the electricity consumption of 150 households in a single year.