Thursday, May 02, 2013

Forest industry brings biillions to many states

The forest industry is known for states that rely heavily on timber, such as Oregon and Washington, but is also has a major impact in states such as Kentucky, where it is a $10 billion annual business but gets little attention. (Photo by University of Kentucky forestry professor Jeff Stringer)

Pennsylvania leads the country in production of hardwood timber, while Kentucky and Tennessee usually rank second or third. West Virgina and North Carolina round out the top five, said aid Jeff Stringer, professor of silviculture in the UK Department of Forestry and an author of the study.

Production of hardwood timber, which employs more than 51,000 people in Kentucky, resulted in $6.4 billion in direct revenue, with an additional $3.6 billion in indirect and induced contributions, Carol Lea Spence, of the UK College of Agriculture, reports for UK Ag News. Seventy-five percent of the land is family-owned, and includes more than 700 individual facilities. (Read more)
Oregon, which leads the country in softwood timber production, employs 76,000 people, accounting for 6.8 percent of the state's economy, while resulting in $5.2 billion in total income and $12.7 billion in total industrial output, according to The 2012 Forest Report. Washington, which ranks second in softwood, accounts for $5 billion, making it the state's third largest commodity, according to the Washington Mill Survey.

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