Submitted: The Two Sides Team July 10, 2019
The National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) and Forest2Market recently released a study showing that the economic impact of private working forests on the U.S. economy is substantial.
- The industry creates 1 million direct jobs, which are associated with over $55.4 billion in direct payroll.
- Taking into account indirect impact (related businesses that supply the industry) and induced impacts (input in the community) the forestry-related businesses support a total of 2.9 million total jobs and are associated with $128.1 billion in total payroll.
- GDP associated with paper, wood, and furniture manufacturing industries totals nearly $107.5 billion.
Additionally, there is a misperception that forest management is causing the destruction of forest lands in the U.S. The research repeatedly shows that increased demand for wood products results in increased forests and that environmental and economic interests are compatible. Landowners maximize tree growth, and wood, paper and energy product manufacturers take harvesting and regeneration very seriously to utilize every part of the tree. The result is an industry that produces little waste and a final product that continues to capture carbon from the atmosphere to help mitigate climate change. Ultimately, it is a critical synergy that ensures that forest lands continue to be maintained as forests.