Kentucky Forest Sector Economic Contribution

Kentucky Forest Sector Economic Contribution

View the Latest Kentucky Forest Sector Economic Contribution

Kentucky Forestry Economic Impact Reports

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Forests cover nearly half the state of Kentucky and are the foundation of a forest sector that is a major economic force in the Commonwealth. This webpage contains the latest Kentucky forest sector economic contribution estimates, prior estimates, links to data sources and methods, as well as additional information related to the economic importance of Kentucky’s forest resources.Econ Cover 

The 2022 economic contributions of Kentucky’s forest sector include: 

  • $9.08 billion in direct economic contribution
  • $13.5 billion in total economic contributions
  • 25,825 jobs in the forest sector and an estimated 49,109 jobs overall


The Kentucky Forest Sector is divided into six sub-sectors:  

  • Logging
  • Primary Wood Manufacturing
  • Pulp and Paper
  • Secondary Wood Manufacturing
  • Paper Converters
  • Wood Residue

Each of these sub-sectors is comprised of multiple forest businesses.

Direct Employment and Economic Sub-Sectors

Figure 4 shows the direct employment and direct economic contribution of each of the Kentucky forest sub-sectors.

Figure 4

Distribution of Kentucky’s Forest Sector

Kentucky’s forests, which are mostly privately
owned, provide the majority of the timber for the Kentucky forest sector which processes it into many useful products used throughout the state and around the world. The economic contribution comes from timber resources in all 120 counties.

Figure 3 shows the concentration of Kentucky Master Loggers (required on logging operations) by county and the distribution of wood using industries across the state. In total, 2,272 Kentucky Master Loggers, located in
117 counties, work to harvest timber and deliver it to the 674 wood, paper, and paper-converting industries located in 114 counties throughout Kentucky. The distribution of these facilities indicates the importance of the forest sector to both rural and urban communities.



Contact Information

Thomas Poe Cooper Building 730 Rose Street Lexington, KY 40546-0073