Texas Almanac, 1992-1993 Page: 96
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96 TEXAS ALMANAC 1992-1993
The "Lost Pines" near Bastrop were so named because they are found about 100 miles west of East Texas' Piney Woods
area, where the state's major conifer forests are located.
Texas Forest Resources
This information was compiled and prepared by Sam D. Logan, director of Information and Education for the Texas
Forest Service, a part of the Texas A&M University System.
Forests in Texas may be one of the Lone Star State's
best kept secrets yet are a most important natural re-
source, and trees, unlike petroleum, are a renewable re-
The popular stereotype of Texas - likely fostered by
generations of Hollywood-produced movies - is that
"Texas is mostly plains, sand, oil wells and cactus.. ."
There are several reasons for the popular miscon-
ception that there are few trees in Texas. First, Texas is
the third most populous state of the 50 United States, yet
fully 80 percent of the population lives in several large
metropolitan cities, only two of which (Houston and
Beaumont) are located in the primary timber region. Of
this 80 percent, an estimated one-third have lived in Tex-
as less than 10 years. The large majority of these urban-
ites simply have little or no knowledge of, nor contact
with, Texas' forests.
Second, Texas, the second-largest state geograph-
ically, has only 14 percent of its land area in forests.
What many people don't realize is that this 14 percent is
about the size of the state of Indiana.
Third, there is confusion as to just where "forests"
fit into our compulsion to categorize everything. Are for-
ests a renewable natural resource to be conserved for
beauty and habitat for wildlife, or are they an agricultu-
ral crop to be harvested and replanted? Actually they
Finally, there is the factor often called the "super-
market syndrome," a term coined after a school child
wrote a paper stating that we no longer need farmers
and cows because his mother buys milk at the supermar-
It isn't any wonder then that too few Texans realize
the size and importance of forestry in the Lone Star
Let's consider the economic impact of timber as
both a raw material and as manufactured products:
STexas' wood-based industry is the ninth largest in
the nation and fourth largest in the South, with sales of
$5.6 billion and a value-added contribution of $2.3 billion.
* Texas is one of the top 10 states in the United
States in primary wood-based manufacturing. Texas
ranks third in plywood production, seventh in pulpwood
consumption, and 12th in lumber production.
* Timber is the most valuable agricultural crop in
the South. In Texas, timber consistently ranks among the
top four cash crops, with an annual delivered value of
approximately $500 million.
* Timber grown in East Texas is processed into pri-
mary wood-based products that had a sales value of $1.6
billion and a value-added contribution of $550 million in
t The wood-based industry provides more than one-
fourth of the manufacturing employment opportunities
in rural East Texas.
" A one-percent increase in the output of the prima-
ry manufacturing sector of the industry - lumber and
plywood, and pulp and paper - will produce a statewide
impact of almost $50 million.
" The forest-products industry in Texas manufac-
tures wood-based products such as lumber, plywood,
poles, railroad cross-ties, furniture, pulp, paper, shakes,
shingles and a host of other products from the timber
grown in Texas forests. This wood-based industry is a vi-
tal part of Texas' diverse economy. As unbelievable as it
may sound, Texas is one of the top producers of forest
products in the nation.
*In 1990, Texas also ranked second only to Florida
among the 50 states in having the largest number of na-
tional champion big trees, with more than 80 species that
have been crowned national champs or co-champs.
Future of Texas'
Forest Resources and Industry
Much public concern has been exhibited recently
over the trend toward global warming, or so-called
"greenhouse effect," and the planting of trees by both
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Kingston, Mike. Texas Almanac, 1992-1993, book, 1991; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth279642/m1/100/: accessed March 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.