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Indiana's Forests Help Drive The State's Economy
Updated August 31, 2016 6:57 AM | Filed under: Natural Resources
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(UNDATED) - Indiana's forests contribute $13.5 billion annually to the economy, according to an updated report from the DNR Division of Forestry.

The report, titled "Indiana Hardwood Industry: Its Economic Impact," was originally published in 2005, and was updated in 2010 and again this year.

The report summarizes the economic contribution of the entire Indiana forest products industry. That includes measuring the financial impact of the industry from forest landowners to the secondary industry that processes boards into products and the entire manufacturing chain.

The full report is at

Indiana has a history of manufacturing quality hardwood products. The state is a leading producer of office furniture, manufactured homes, kitchen cabinets, caskets and coffins and hardwood plywood-based products.

Data gathered for the report came mostly from 2012. Some of the highlights are:
Total economic impact of forest products was $13.5 billion.

  • Every board foot of timber processed had a $43 economic impact.
  • 84 percent of logs processed in Indiana were harvested in-state.

The hardwood industry employed 30,845 people.

  • An additional 64,908 jobs were generated in economic sectors supporting or supported by the hardwood industry.

Annual wages of $1.3 billion were paid.

  • The industry generated an estimated $43 million in state payroll taxes and $20.1 million in local payroll taxes.
  • Each acre of forest supports $245 of hardwood wages paid annually.

Total value of shipments of $7 billion accounted for 2.4 percent of Indiana's gross domestic product.

  • $166 million was paid to landowners for timber.
  • For every $1 paid to landowners for timber, $41 of value was added in the production of final products.

Forest covers 4,879,577 acres in Indiana.

  • 84.5 percent is privately owned.
  • 97.5 percent is hardwood trees.

The timber value of managed forests is about 27 percent higher than unmanaged forests.

  • Indiana's forest land increased by 41,504 acres per year from 2009 to 2014.
  • The ratio of net growth to removal is 2.6, meaning Indiana grows 2.6 times the volume being removed.

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