First-Ever Study Quantifies the Economic Impact of Private, Working Forests in the U.S.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (December 2009) - A new study, commissioned by the National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) and conducted by Forest2Market®, quantifies the economic impact of private, working forests on the U.S. economy. The study found a significant gap between the contributions made by privately-owned forests over other ownership types. On average, they generate $277,000 in state GDP per 1,000 acres, while public forests generate just $41,000 per 1,000 acres.The study also concludes that every 1,000 acres of private, working forest creates on average 8 jobs, $270,000 in annual payroll, $9,850 in annual state taxes (income and severance taxes only) and $733,000 in annual sales.
The study completes the picture of the contributions that working forests make, says David P. Tenny, President and CEO of NAFO. “We all know that private, working forests provide clean water and air, open space, wildlife habitat, recreation, and other environmental benefits. This study demonstrates the significant economic benefits these forests provide: family waged jobs, a strong tax base, and the economic foundation of the forest products industry. They are fundamental to both the economic and environmental infrastructure of our nation.”
The study, which looks at economic contribution by state and region as well as nationally, is the first of its kind. “To our knowledge, no one else has taken a comprehensive look at the total contribution that forests make to the economy,” says Pete Stewart, CEO and President of Forest2Market®.
“This study demonstrates that private working forests support local and state economies,” says Stewart. “While the industry is struggling from the depressed housing market and the wider recession, it’s important to know exactly how much working forests contribute in jobs, taxes and GDP. With a clear view of the total contribution, we can better understand the consequences of public policies and market factors that limit how much work these forests can do.”
Results of the study are available using the interactive map on NAFO’s website. The full study is available at here.