Woodland owners in Illinois may be surprised to learn that timber produced on their land is part of a $23 billion industry in Illinois and is a major contributor to the state’s economy, according to Jay Hayek, extension forestry specialist at the University of Illinois.

Based on a report of 2010 economic data, the $23 billion breaks down like this: Total Illinois forest products and forestry-related employment included 131,549 full- or part-time jobs with an annual payroll of $8.10 billion. Local, state, and federal government also benefited with more than $871 million paid to state and local governments and $1.6 billion paid to the federal government, all in the form of taxes. The total value added, which was available for wages, profits and taxes, amounted to over $11.4 billion.

John Gunter, past president of the Illinois Forestry Association and Dean Emeritus of the College of Forest Resources at Mississippi State University commented, “This harvest of Illinois timber is extremely sustainable, considering our state grows significantly more timber than what is harvested or lost to mortality on an annual basis. When timber is properly harvested through the services of a professional forester, the short-lived negative impacts are greatly minimized across the landscape. Not to mention, timber harvesting is frequently used by foresters and wildlife biologists to improve game- and non-game wildlife habitat.”

The economic impacts of the forest products industry in Illinois were determined from 2010 data examined by forest economists Ian Munn and James Henderson of Mississippi State University College of Forest Resources. Using input-output analysis, Henderson and Munn determined direct employment, wages, production, and value added from manufacturing; indirect effects from industry purchases of goods and services; and the induced effect of purchases of consumer goods and services by employees of forest products and supporting industries. Results showed the significance of the industries based on renewable and readily available wood resources in Illinois.

From Farmer’s Advantage: http://www.farmersadvance.com/article/20130306/NEWS03/130305002