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Sherry Olson traces the timber conversation issue over the full term of evolution of forestry consciousness in America, giving new prominence to the role of industrial consumers in adjusting the use pattern of a major resource. In its preoccupation with growing wood the Forest Service underestimated the ability of consumers to reduce their use of timber. Olson attributes this mistake to confusion of the economic facts of supply and demand with physical facts of production and consumption. This distinction, she believes, could be applied with profit to current problems of resource management.