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    Author(s): John F. Dwyer; David J. Nowak; Mary Heather Noble; Susan M. Sisinni
    Date: 2000
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-490. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 483 p
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.19 MB)


    Urban areas (cities, towns, villages, etc.) cover 3.5 percent of the 48 conterminous states and contain more than 75 percent of the population. urban areas, about 3.8 billion trees cover 27.1 percent of the land. On a broader scale, metropolitan areas (urban counties) cover 24.5 percent of the conterminous United States and contain 74.4 billion trees that cover 33.4 percent of these counties. Between 1950 and 1990, metropolitan areas nearly tripled in size; urban areas doubled in size over the past 20 to 25 years. This report is the first national assessment of urban forest resources in the United States and details variations in urbanization and urban tree cover across the United States by state, county, and individual urban area. It illustrates local-scale variation, complexity, and connectedness of the urban forest resource and how this resource changes through time in response to a wide range of powerful forces. The report concludes by outlining future areas of emphasis that will facilitate comprehensive, adaptive, and sustainable urban forest management and improve environmental quality, enhance human health, and connect people with ecosystems in the 21st century.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Dwyer, John F.; Nowak, David J.; Noble, Mary Heather; Sisinni, Susan M. 2000. Connecting people with ecosystems in the 21st century: an assessment of our nation''s urban forests. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-490. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 483 p


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    Urban forests, urban forestry, tree cover, sustainability, adaptive management, urbanization, urban ecosystems, urban populations, metropolitan areas, RPA assessment

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