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According to the Official Land Register and Evaluation of the Native Vegetative Resources of Chile, carried out for CONAF (Corporación Nacional Forestal), the Chilean government agency responsible for forest management, Chile has 15.6 million hectares of forest cover (CONAF et al., 1999). (See Table 1 for forest extent and Box 1 for forest definitions.) Of this area, 13.4 million hectares, or 85.9 percent, is native forest; 2.1 million hectares, or 13.5 percent, is forestry plantations; and 85,744 hectares, or 0.55 percent, is mixed forests. With respect to forest structure, mature forests constitute the largest share of Chile’s native forests, representing 44.4 percent. Among forestry plantations, 75.5 percent by surface area are Monterey pine plantations (Pinus radiata), with plantations of various eucalyptus species (Eucalyptus spp.) accounting for a further 16.8 percent of total plantation area (CONAF et al., 1999).

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