It’s hard to say because the definition of ‘old growth’ is debated. It generally refers to forests containing very old trees, but different methods and criteria of surveying may produce different measurements of the amount of American old growth that remains.
For instance, the U.S. Forest Service and the Wilderness Society set out to measure the amount of old growth in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. Even though they used the same criteria of what constitues ‘old growth’, the USFS found that 4.3 million acres remained, while the WS came up with 2 million acres.
It depends on whom you ask. The definition varies among governement agencies, NGOs and logging companies. Even if the definition is the same, different inventory methods can produce different results. In 1991, two different studies of the Pacific Northwest by the U.S. Forest Service and the Wilderness Society found 4.3 million acres and 2 million acres of old growth forest respectively. And that was using the same definition of “old growth”. A more recent study by the National Commission of Science for Sustainable Forestry found 3.5 million acres of old growth in the region.
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