The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon

Visual: How America uses it’s land

November 19, 2018

By Oregon State University Extension Service,

Bloomberg News authors Dave Merrill and Lauren Leatherby have pieced together a striking illustration of how America uses its land to create wealth. Focusing on the 48 contiguous states and using data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other government agencies, they divided the U.S. into six major types of land: Pasture and range, forest, cropland, special use (national parks, wildlife areas, highways, railroads and military bases), urban, and miscellaneous (cemeteries, golf courses, marshes, deserts and other areas of “low economic value”). The findings are thought provoking.

Some highlights:

– Cropland accounts for about one fifth of land (391.5 million acres) of which over 127 million acres produce livestock feed, and another 38 million acres produce ethanol. The authors estimate that only 77.3 million acres produces food we eat in the U.S.
– More than one third of land (654 million acres) is rangeland or pasture used for grazing. When combined with cropland used to produce livestock feed, the authors calculate that over 40% of land is used in some manner for livestock.
– Unprotected forest and timberland accounts for one quarter of land (538.6 million acres).
– Urban areas account for just 3.6% of land (69.4 million acres).
– National parks account for 29 million acres while defense accounts for 25 million acres. Golf courses account for 2 million acres.

Read the full Bloomberg Newsweek article here

Print This Post Print This Post    Email This Post Email This Post

Discuss this article

no comments yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer the following question to confirm that you are a real person: *

Natural Resource Headlines

Top Business News


Top Natural Resource News


Top Faith News


Copyright © 2019, OregonReport. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use - Copyright - Legal Policy | Contact Oregon Report

--> --> -->