The size and diversity of Texas brings many challenges in managing the forest and tree resources of the state. The rapidly increasing population is placing an unprecedented demand on Texas forests. Significant threats to forests - such as insects and disease, catastrophic fire, and loss of critical forested landscapes to development, coupled with pressure placed on local economies by the increasingly global nature of the forest products industry, point to the need for more progressive strategies for conserving forests resources. This Assessment and Strategy is a comprehensive analysis and strategic plan for addressing these issues and challenges.
The East Texas Pineywoods have for generations provided timber, wildlife habitat, and many recreational opportunities. While these activities are still paramount to many, new opportunities for this resource are developing rapidly because of advanced wood processing technologies, changing landowner demographics, urban sprawl, and other more recent political and social issues. The greater demands on the forest resources of East Texas warrant wise management to ensure sustainability.
Texas is experiencing “high-velocity” change through population growth and urbanization in its communities. The challenge faced by leaders of these communities is to devise reasonable, affordable, and effective ways to grow, develop, and protect their communities while integrating the critically important contributions made by forest ecosystems and natural areas.
Wildfire and public safety are growing issues for Texas. Three factors are combining to create intense fire seasons—population growth, changing land use, and increasing drought frequency. Texas Forest Service has developed the Texas Wildfire Protection Plan that is a proven interagency emergency response model emphasizing ongoing analysis and aggressive response based on identified risk factors.