Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Forest Resource Facts

USFS 1985 inventory estimates 4.26 million acres of forests (12 percent of the state)

IDNR 1996 Land Cover study using satellite imagery estimates 4.9 million acres of forest (14 percent of the state)

In 1820 forests covered 13.8 million acres (38 percent of the state)

USFS estimated that between 1962 and 1985 forest cover increased by 10 percent

USGS data shows there are over 10,000 forested parcels 40 acres or larger, 44 percent of these are less than 100 acres, 10 percent are more than 600 acres

USGS data indicates there are 540 forest parcels in excess of 1,100 acres

69 percent of all forest parcels are between 40-200 acres in size

In a 13 County area in south-central Illinois it was found that 78 percent of the area's forests exists within 1,000 feet of a stream

90 percent of forest is privately owned

169,000 private landowners (ave. ownership-21.5 acres)

Approximately 53,000 landowners own forests 15 acres or greater

83 percent of forest landowners have never received professional forest management assistance

98 percent of the forest is comprised of hardwood species, 43 percent of the hardwood species are white or red oak

In 1997 there were 140 communities designated as Tree City USA

102,800 acres of urban forests and 139,500 acres of urban areas with trees

There are an estimated 6.5 million street trees in Illinois with a value exceeding $3 billion

Over 250 species of trees (native and introduced have been recorded in Illinois

There have been 508 taxa of woody plants recorded in Illinois (138 were introduced species)

Over 1,580 (89 percent) forest associated plant taxa (including tree species) are native species

49 percent of the 363 taxa listed as Threatened and Endangered Plants are found in forests

Forests provide habitat for more than 420 vertebrate species

82.5 percent of the mammals, 62.8 percent of birds, and 79.7 percent of the amphibians and reptiles require forested habitat for a portion of their life cycles

120 bird species us Illinois forests for nesting

It has been estimated that over 75 percent of Illinois' wildlife habitat is derived from forests

Forest related industries employ 65,000 people, have annual payroll of $1.9 million, and contribute over $4.5 billion annually to the State's economy through value added by manufacturing

Illinois ranks 5th in the nation for wood demand

There are over 500 Christmas tree growers in Illinois and produce over 250,000 trees annually with a retail value of more than $5 million

A 1987 study estimated that over 206 million days were spent in recreational activities on or near forests


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