But what Is It?
With the barrage of news about wildfires taking out huge sections of California’s woodlands, fast approaching a million acres so far this summer, we noticed this Farm Bureau report about land use in America.
The U.S. land puzzle by Gary Joiner
Farms, cities, forests and pastures are intertwined in America, a country with 1.9 billion acres in the 48 contiguous states.
But how is that land divided?
About a fifth of U.S. land is used for agricultural production, and more than one-third is used for pasture.
Parks and wilderness areas make up about 100 million acres, while forests and timberland are about a quarter of the U.S.
What about urban areas? They make up just 3.6 percent of the total size, but the U.S. is becoming increasingly more urban. A surging population gobbles up a million acres, on average, each year. And urban areas have more than quadrupled since 1945.
America’s land use is diverse, which helps us sustain ourselves. But private land is necessary and important for water conservation, growing food and maintaining wildlife habitat.