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Iowa woodlands decline in 2013

Published: Friday, July 5, 2013 11:30 a.m. CDT

WATERLOO (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s forest service says that tree cover in Iowa is declining for the first time in nearly 40 years.

KWWL reports that 2013 marks the first time since 1974 that Iowa lost more woodland acres than it has gained.

Wooded space has dropped by roughly 40,000 acres in Iowa.

Officials say the decline is likely because of increased agricultural and urban land usage.

Iowa had an estimated 6.8 million wooded acres before being settled. Just three percent of the state is currently covered by woodlands.

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