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The general view, both in Russia and internationally, is that the Russian Far East (RFE) has abundant forest resources. This opinion is substantiated by the volume of forest lands in the RFE - 273.7 million hectares, and its extensive timber reserves - 20.4 billion cum. Forest lands cover 498.3 million hectares, or 80 % of the RFE region.
The majority of forest lands are covered in coniferous species (71.9 %, 196.9 million hectares) and for the most part are pure, rather than mixed stands. Larch is the most broadly distributed species (60.9 % of all stands, 166.7 million hectares); larch increases in share of forest cover from the south to the north. After larch is white and stone birch (7.6%, 20.7 million hectares). Fir and spruce forests come in third (5.5%, 15.0 million hectares) and their share in forest cover increases from the northwest to the southeast.
The most valuable forest lands in the region are of Korean pine also known as Russian cedar. Broadleaf deciduous forests contain Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis Sieb. et Zucc.) and ten or twenty other tree species. Korean pine forests grow only in south of the RFE area (1.2% of total forest lands, 3.3 million hectares). Intensively harvested, their structure has been dramatically changed. In 1991 legislation was passed to protect Korean pine. Mixed forests, dominated by oak (1.1%, 3.1 million hectares), linden (0.3%, 0.8 million hectares) and ash (0.1%, 0.4 million hectares) are found in the south of the region. Creeping pine (pinus pumila Rgl.) and creeping alder (11.8%, 32.4 million hectares) forests grow in higher mountain zones and on flat lands in northern RFE. Some resource information for RFE: