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Untapped Potential: West Virginia’s Forestry Industry


While the old adage says money doesn’t grow on trees, it doesn’t seem to hold the same truth for the landowners, loggers, sawmill operators and manufacturers that make up the Mountain State’s thriving forestry industry. 

According to a 2019 economic study of the industry by West Virginia University, forestry generates approximately $3.4 billion each year and employs more than 19,000 people statewide. 

“West Virginia is the third most forested state in the country,” says Eric Carlson, executive director of the West Virginia Forestry Association (WVFA), a nonprofit organization that represents all sectors of the state’s forestry supply chain, from landowners to manufacturers. “We’re about four times the size of agriculture in sheer economic impact according to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture’s latest information.” 

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