Burned Trees Spark Debate - The Problems
07/12/2004

According to an Associated Press article by Jeff Barnard, “the U.S. Forest Service signed off on a plan … that would enable loggers to cut 370 million board feet of timber, enough to build 24,000 homes, from about 20,000 acres of federal land over the next two years.” This land is a portion of the 500,000 acres that were burned in the “nation’s biggest and costliest blaze of 2002.” According to these numbers, what is the approximate number of acres of wood that would provide enough timber for a single home? Express your answer as a decimal to the nearest hundredth.

Some people see this as a good use of the burned trees, while others argue that even burned and dead trees play an important role in that environment. If the same ratio is assumed for all 500,000 acres, how many board feet of timber would be logged from the entire 500,000 acres? Express your answer in scientific notation to three significant digits.

Speaking of trees… do you know how to “score” a tree? If you are looking to register a tree in California, in the hopes that you have found the Champion Tree of its species, there is a special scoring system that is used to compare trees competing in the same category. The score of a tree is determined by finding the sum of the circumference of the tree in inches, the height of the tree in feet and a fourth of the tree’s crown spread in feet. If you found a tree that had a diameter of 2 feet, a height of 73 feet and a crown spread of 53 feet, what would be the tree’s score? Express your answer as a decimal to the nearest tenth. Check out the Web site for hints on to how to find the height of tall trees!

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