2016 KY Forestry Economic Impact


Kentucky Forestry Economic Contribution Report 2016

Kentucky plays a pivotal role in providing forest products to the U.S. and beyond; the forestry sector is a major economic force in the commonwealth. Estimates of the economic contribution and related 2016 statistics include:

* $9 billion in direct economic contribution.

* $14.4 billion in total economic contributions a 1% decrease over 2015.

* 27,740 jobs in the forest industry and an estimated 60,225 jobs overall.

* 722 facilities located in 110 of Kentucky's 120 counties, gaining 9 facilities since 2015.

 

Sawmills and secondary wood manufacturing were estimated to show increases in direct revenues in 2016; together they are responsible for $3.4 billion in direct revenues, an increase of over $500 million from 2015.

 

Sawlog production estimated at 746,000 board feet, down slightly compared to 2015, with growth still outpacing removals 2:1. Kentucky remains one of the leaders in hardwood sawlog production in the U.S.

 

Exports decreased slightly to $283 million, with barrels (new and used) and white oak lumber still the number 1 and 2 exports. Europe remains the top destination for our exports followed closely by Asia.

 

Hardwood sawlog delivered prices for most major species were mixed compared to 2015.

 

The closing of the Verso pulp and paper facility in Wickliffe resulted in a functional collapse of pulpwood markets in western KY which helps explain the decline of more than $20 million in the logging sector compared to 2015.

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2015 Economic Impact Forestry Report

Environmental Benefits

Woodlands provide countless benefits that are often overlooked, including:  

  • Wildlife and Biodiversity: Kentucky’s woodlands are home to more than 100 tree species and thousands of other species of plants, animals, insects, fungi, and microorganisms. Kentucky is well known for its wide diversity of wildlife much of which is dependent on woodlands for at least part of their lives.
  • Cleaner Water: In addition to slowing precipitation so that it can be absorbed into the ground, our woodlands help to filter out pollutants and sediments before they reach our water supplies. Kentucky’s extensive running waters and lakes are protected in large part by the trees that crowd their banks and act as filters and soil stabilizers.
  • Cleaner Air: Woodlands help to clean our air by sequestering carbon and other pollutants while also providing oxygen.
  • Recreation/Aesthetics: Kentucky’s woodlands provide the scenic backdrop for countless tourism and outdoor recreational opportunities including hiking, camping, hunting, bird watching, nature photography, and more.
  • Quality of Life: Nearly half the state is covered in woodlands and these woodlands are a major part of our heritage and they give us a sense of place.