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Florida Land Steward

Florida Land Steward

Assessment of Current Conditions & Strategies for the Future

Florida has over 16 million acres or 25 thousand square miles of forests, representing nearly half of the state's land area. Forests in Florida are managed to produce a variety of wood and fiber products, with about 650 million cubic feet of roundwood harvested annually. These forests also support outdoor recreational opportunities for residents and millions of visitors to the state, and provide important non-market environmental services such as biodiversity, hydrologic function, and mitigation of global climate change through sequestering atmospheric carbon.

A study was conducted to assess the economic impacts of the forest products industry in the state of Florida, in order to better understand its role and contribution to the regional economy. Read the Extension publication, Economic Impacts of the Forest Industry in Florida, 2003 Report, for more information.

Since the 1930s, nearly 6 million acres of Florida's forested land has been converted to other uses. With over 10 million more people expected by 2030 the state will likely see another two to three million acres cleared and converted.

In 2005-2006, through a collaborative effort by citizens, conservation groups, forest industry leaders, government agencies, forest landowners, and others, a comprehensive list of action items to help ensure a successful future for Florida’s forests has been completed.

After assessing the current "state of the forests", the groups defined what the future of Florida’s forest resources should be, studied barriers to achieving that desired condition, and then developed recommended courses of action to get there.

Visit the Florida Forest Service's Forest Resources page to see these documents.