The North East State Foresters Association (NEFA) and the VT Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation have released a report detailing The Economic Importance of Vermontís Forest-based Economy. The report highlights the various sectors of Vermontís economy that depend on wood, forests, and trees. The total economic value of Vermontís forest economy is pegged at over $3.4 billion dollars for 2012.
ďForest-based manufacturing and forest-related recreation and tourism are significant drivers for our economy,Ē says Vermont State Forester Steven Sinclair. Sinclair lists some products and services we enjoy: firewood, lumber, fine furniture, maple syrup and Christmas trees are chief among the products. Forests also yield ďecosystem servicesĒ such as providing clean water, carbon storage, and wildlife habitat. Vermontís forests are the vital backdrop to recreation and tourism here.
The NEFA report shows that nearly 21,000 jobs in all sectors are directly impacted by Vermontís forests. While manufacturing jobs in Vermontís wood products businesses have declined over the past decade, the harvest of timber from Vermont has stayed relatively stable.
Sinclair points out that most of Vermontís wood is coming from family forests. ďAbout 80 of Vermontís forested lands are owned by individuals and families. So, when you buy Vermont wood, you really are buying local. The NEFA report supports the Vermontís Working Lands Enterprise Initiative to stimulate a concerted economic development effort on behalf of Vermontís agriculture and forest product sectors.Ē
The NEFA report can be found at http://www.vtfpr.org/htm/forestry.cfm under the ďLatest NewsĒ header.
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