Economic Benefits of the Forest Industry in Virginia
From the strong industrial base worth $17 billion in annual total economic output to a wide-ranging array of forest related values worth $5.1 billion annually, forests in Virginia are healthy and diverse, yet are changing due to socioeconomic pressures.
The forest resource of the Commonwealth:
- Contributes $17 billion annually to Virginia's economy.
- Continues to support one of the largest manufacturing industries in the state, ranking first in employment, wages and salaries.
- Contributes $345 million back to Virginia landowners for selling their timber.
- Provides more than $3 billion in recreational opportunities to two-thirds of citizens.
- Generates more than 103,000 jobs.
- Generates an estimated $60 million through specialty forest products.
- Protects Virginia watersheds from erosion and sedimentation.
- Provides long-term carbon sequestration through forest management on 16 million acres of forest land, which contributes to clean air and enhances our quality of life. Carbon sequestration is the long-term storage of carbon in the terrestrial biosphere (such as trees), underground, or the oceans so that the buildup of carbon dioxide (the principal greenhouse gas) concentration in the atmosphere will reduce or slow.
- Provides important social benefits including attractive sites for homes, scenic beauty, wildlife habitat, a draw for visitors and potential new residents.
The growth of the forest products industry has resulted in a strong economy. A continuing high level of management and protection is needed to maintain this invaluable forest resource now and for future generations.
The importance of forests to our economic health is well documented. We must recognize now, more than ever, Virginia's forests are...our commonwealth.