From the earliest colonial times to the early part of the twentieth century, 2.1 acres of American forest were converted to agriculture for every person added to the population. Globally, conversion to agricultural uses is still the number one cause of deforestation today. Currently, both hemp and kenaf are being offered as alternatives to wood fiber in the manufacture of paper and similar products. Both of these materials are produced in mono-cultural, annual rotation, agricultural systems referred to as 'dedicated crops'. This paper explores the environmental issues surrounding the use of dedicated crops, in comparison to wood, as an industrial raw material.