Everyday Science: Timber Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

When European settlers arrived in North America in the 1600s, they found vast forests stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River. Nearly 40 percent of the land north of Mexico lay beneath tree cover. So how much has changed?

How much of the planet is forestland?

Approximately 30 percent of the planet's land area is forestland, with Russia and Brazil holding the largest tracts, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.


Which of the below is considered to be a hardwood?

Hardwoods include oaks, gums, maples, hickories and walnuts. Softwoods include pines, cedars, spruces, hemlocks, true firs, Douglas firs and redwoods.


Which of the below accounts for the most timber consumption in the United States?

Lumber is responsible for 53 percent of U.S. timber consumption. Pulp and paper products consume another 32 percent, and wood-based composites, such as plywood and veneer, use 7 percent.


What are the odds that a full-time logger will be killed on the job?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, logging is the most dangerous occupation. A full-time logger has a better than 1 in 1,000 chance of getting killed on the job.


How much government-owned public forestland exists in the United States?

Governments at all levels -- national, state and regional -- can own forestland, although the federal government holds the largest amount. All of this government-owned land, nearly 323 million acres (131 million hectares), is known as public forestland.


Globally, the forest industry employs how many people?

Globally, the forest industry employs 13 million people and produces 123.6 million cubic feet (3.5 million cubic meters) of roundwood, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.


Since 1930, what insect has defoliated more than 80 million acres of forests in the Eastern United States?

The gypsy moth has devastated more than 80 million acres (32 million hectares) of forests in the Eastern U.S., according to the USDA Forest Service, though several eradication strategies have prevented the insects from spreading to Western states.


What percentage of the world’s forests are designated for conservation?

The answer is 11 percent. Compare this percentage of conservation to the rate of deforestation -- about 50,000 square miles annually.


Which of the below criteria does NOT necessitate Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification?

State park regulation does not require FSC certification. The other two answers do. The list of standards the FSC has put together to evaluate management on environmental, social and economic issues is lengthy. Read <a href='http://science.howstuffworks.com/forest-stewardship-council.htm'>How Forest Stewardship Council Certification Works</a> for a summary of their criteria.


What is "afforestation"?

A good example of afforestation happened on Nov. 28, 2007, when each of Indonesia's 79,000 government institutions planted 1,000 trees -- contributing 79 million trees in all.


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