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    Author(s): Thomas E. Mauldin; Andrew J. Plantinga; Ralph J. Alig
    Date: 1999
    Source: Res. Pap. PNW-RP-519. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 24 p
    Publication Series: Research Paper (RP)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (361 KB)


    This paper presents the historic trends and future projections of forest, farm, and urban land uses for the Lake States of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Since the 1950s, forest and farm land have been decreasing, and urban and other land uses have been increasing throughout the Lake States. Forest, crop, and pasture land have decreased in the region by 3.2, 5.4, and 4.0 million acres, respectively, whereas urban and other land uses have increased by 2.1 and 10.3 million acres, respectively. These decreases and increases were most pronounced during the 1950s and 1980s. Land trends and land quality were used to make projections of the distribution of Wisconsin's future land uses. In Michigan and Minnesota, forest and farm land use projections were based on the extrapolation of historic trends, and urban land use projections were adopted from Wisconsin's econometric projections; land rents and land quality were not used for all projections because of insufficient data. The projections of land uses through 2050 are consistent with historic trends—forest and agricultural lands will decline, and urban and other land uses will increase. Timberland is projected to be reduced by 13 percent in Wisconsin, 11 percent in Michigan, and 10 percent in Minnesota.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Mauldin, Thomas E.; Plantinga, Andrew J.; Alig, Ralph J. 1999. Land use in the lake states region: an analysis of past trends and projections of future changes. Res. Pap. PNW-RP-519. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 24 p


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    Land use change, urban development, land rents, timberland area projections

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