More than 50% of Kentucky's land is covered in forests


Kentucky's Forestry Industry

The 2014 estimated direct economic impact of the Kentucky's forest and wood industry is $8.3 bullion, with a total impact of $12.8 billion.

Kentucky's forest and wood industry directly employs over 28,000 Kentuckians with a total employment impact of 57,753 jobs.

The commonwealth is the leading producer of hardwood sawlogs in the south, as well as one of the top three in the United States.

Export value of entucky's wood products is estimated at more than $273 million in 2014.

There are 12.5 million acres of forestland, including pastured woodland, representing 49% of the land cover in the state, of which 75% is family-owned. There were over 700 forest and wood industry facilities located in 109 of Kentucky's 120 counties in 2013.

Data provided by Kentucky Farm Bureau

A Wealth in the Forest

Forests cover nearly half of the land in Kentucky and provide many economical and environmental benefits. Trees are renewable, natural resources that are harvested for timber and wood resources. Every single county in the Commonwealth contributes to Kentucky’s $14 billion forest and wood products industry that supports the jobs of more than 60,000 people.

The most popular trees harvested for saw logs are black walnut, white oak, red oak, ash and yellow poplar. The
white oak, left, dominates Kentucky wood exports in the form of oak barrels for aging alcohol.

Forest Management

The Kentucky Division of Forestry works to protect, conserve and enhance the forest resources of the Commonwealth. As a means of meeting their mission, the division offers a variety of programs and services ranging from landowner assistance and master logger training to forest health protection and wildland fire management.

Wood Products

Paper production and finishing brings more money to Kentucky than any other wood-dependent industry. Harvesting lower quality trees for paper helps keep forests healthy.

Logging, solid wood manufacturing such as lumber and cabinets, and wood residues (mulch and sawdust) are also
important economic engines for Kentucky.

Forests for Healthy Ecosystems and Fun!

Environmental and cultural benefits of forests include ecosystem services such as cleaner air and water, carbon sequestration, biodiversity, and wildlife habitat, not to mention providing Kentuckians and thousands of visitors with recreational opportunities and aesthetic beauty.


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