Logging on national forests, most of them located in the West, is a shadow of its former self. Prior to creation of the Forest Service in 1905, the activity was largely unregulated in the West. After World War II, harvest rates increased significantly, but starting in the late 1970s, environmental regulations and international competition led to dramatic decreases in the amount of timber coming off public lands. Passage of the National Forest Management Act of 1976 and restrictions related to the spotted owl in the 1990s led to major reductions in clear cutting and the sharp dips seen in this graphic. You can download the data, create a PDF, share the charts, and interact in other ways by clicking on the links below.

Visualizing environmental trends