The forest industry in the states of Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont is an important component of the region’s economic health, according to new research by the North East State Foresters Association and the Northern Forest Center. Forest-based economic activity annually contributes more than $33 billion and provides 178,000 jobs to the four-state region.

“These reports show how integral the forests of the region are to the economic health of the Northeast,” said Steve Sinclair, chair of the North East State Foresters Association and state forester of Vermont. “We hope that this new information can help people in the region gain a greater appreciation that, in addition to scenic beauty, a place to recreate, clean air, clean water and many other environmental benefits, our forests provide tens of thousands of jobs and are an important part of our economy.”

According to the reports, the annual value of sales from the region’s forest products industry totals more than $18.8 billion, while the forest-based recreation economy is worth $14.3 billion.

The analysis includes gross output and jobs in the following categories: forestry, logging and trucking; wood products manufacturing; furniture and related product manufacturing; paper manufacturing; wood energy; Christmas trees and maple syrup; and forest recreation.

“The reports highlight the forest’s economic role in our largely rural states,” said Joe Short, vice president of the Northern Forest Center. “The forest is an incredible resource that — if we use it sustainably — can provide jobs and income to the region that would be hard to replace. We have 46 million acres of forestland here, and one of the best incentives to ensure forest conservation is to value the contribution it makes to our economy.”

From The Conway Daily Sun: