December 27, 2006
NEW STUDY SHOWS OHIO’S FOREST INDUSTRIES CONTRIBUTE MORE THAN
COLUMBUS, OH - Results of a new study by the Ohio State University shows the state’s forest products industry contributes $15.1 billion to Ohio’s economy annually, employs more than 119,000 people and generates more than $4 billion in payroll.
$15 BILLION TO THE STATE’S ECONOMY
According to the study, Ohio’s primary wood products industry, including logging and milling, contributes $803.6 million to the state’s economy. While the secondary wood products industry, including furniture and cabinet making and the production of wood pallets, contributes $4 billion.
“Forests are unique in that their values go beyond dollars and cents,” said John Dorka, chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry. “That value can be expressed in terms of recreational enjoyment, environmental quality and the new carbon credits market.”
Paper manufacturing and processing are significant components of Ohio’s wood industry. The companies that process logs into pulp and paper and in turn, paper into products like cardboard boxes and stationary, contribute $7.5 billion to Ohio's economy. The paper industry is also responsible for employing more than 29,000 people and generating payrolls of $1.4 billion.
The OSU study was released within a new publication, Ohio: The Many Sides Of The Forest Economy, a joint project of the Ohio Forestry Association and the ODNR Division of Forestry.
Approximately 30 percent (8.1 million acres) of Ohio’s land area is tree covered - mostly with hardwoods. That number represents a dramatic increase from the early 1900s when farming and the iron furnace industry left only 10 percent of the state forested. Over the years, many of the state’s woodlands regenerated naturally or were managed by private and public organizations to promote regeneration and health.
Ohio’s public and private forests grow a billion board feet of timber each year. About 300-400 million board feet of timber is harvested, resulting in a net gain of 600 to 700 million board feet annually. This increase allows wildlife to flourish and spurs outdoor pursuits such as hunting, fishing, bird watching, boating and hiking.