Forestry Facts

  • In West Virginia, forestry and related industries employ over 30,000 people.
  • It is the only natural resource industry that is in all 55 West Virginia counties.
  • Forestry contributes over $3 billion annually to West Virginia’s economy.
  • There are over 250,000 forest landowners in West Virginia.
  • West Virginia is the third most forested state (following Maine and New Hampshire).
  • There are 11.9 million forested acres in our state.
  • West Virginia has over 7 million more acres of forested land than it did in 1910.
  • West Virginia’s forests are at least 94% hardwood species.
  • Forestry and tourism in West Virginia exist side-by-side.  Having acres of forestland that are conserved, protected and managed, allows people to enjoy hunting, fishing and hiking.
  • Wood and wood products touch every person’s life throughout West Virginia, making life convenient, safe and more comfortable.
  • West Virginia foresters adhere to the most stringent regulations in our region.
  • Trees are the only renewable natural resource.

Trees are an important part of any breakfast.

Most people know that paper is make from trees. But did you ever stop to think that the cardboard protecting your cereal, the carton that holds your mild and juice, the protective egg carton, all come from trees? Wood and wood products are all around us – from the lumber we use to build our homes, to the furniture we use to make us comfortable. And those are just the most obvious. Look into your (wooden) kitchen cabinets and discover that wood and wood products can also be found in baby foods, cereals, vegetarian foods and chewing gum. Look in your medicine chest – your vitamins, toothpaste, and medicines contain products that come from trees. And from toothpicks to shoe polish, carpeting to hair spray, soaps to solvents. 

The average American uses wood and paper products equivalent to what can be produced from one 18 inch diameter, 100 – foot tree every year.

And each year, over five new trees are planted for each American. And in West Virginia, many more trees are naturally regenerated on harvested sites.

Did you know there are more trees today than ever before?

West Virginia has over 7 million more acres of forested land than it did in 1910. Our forests continue to grow at a rate that provides for continued harvesting while sustaining the forest resource for future us and enjoyment. This keeps the cycle of growth, harvest and renewal alive!

West Virginia currently has more wildlife than at any time since the mid – 1930’s. West Virginia’s forestlands are the source of about 400 native brook trout streams. Timber harvesting creates a condition that is critical to the habitat of turkey, grouse, rabbit and nearly every other wildlife species.

The members of the West Virginia Forestry Association work hard to protect our forests, and all that they mean to us. After all, forestry touch all of us!

Growing a Stronger Economy

Forestry provides jobs in every West Virginia county, supports our community schools, libraries and sports teams, searches for ways to improve lives while protecting the natural resources we need, and encourages the development of a solid economic base for our state.

West Virginia is the only state east of the Mississippi that has a severance tax used exclusively to fund the state forest agency (beginning in 2017). Our industry, like others, pays income taxes, property taxes, inventory taxes, fuel taxes and more based in the magnitude to our employment levels, properties and production.

Forestry is also the only natural resource industry that touches every one of West Virginia’s 55 counties, employing over 30,000 people in forestry and related industries.

In addition, the forest industry helps support tourism. By working with professional foresters and biologists, the members of the Forestry Association help assure the diversity, strength and beauty of our forests and wildlife.

A Natural Way of Thinking - For Our Communities

The members of the Forestry Association support our communities by providing materials for various community projects – from wood to restore the Philippi Bridge, materials for new facilities for Boy Scout camps in Upshur and Monongalia Counties, to building materials for a new health center at camp Horseshoe in Tucker County.
The forestry community supports education in West Virginia through programs such as Project Learning Tree. This is an award winning environmental education program designed for teachers and educators to help young people gain awareness and knowledge of the world around them, as well as their place in it.