Business and the Economy
100 Years of Forestry in Kentucky
This year’s ‘Earth Week in Kentucky’ celebration focuses on the state Division of Forestry’s 100th anniversary. Much of the division’s work centers on Kentucky’s four to five billion dollar wood products industry business. State Forester Leah MacSwords says the timber harvested here is used in numerous products. “All kinds of forest products are made from Kentucky’s wood…everything from cabinets and flooring.. to mill work to pallets…so we have a very robust forestry industry in the state of Kentucky,” said MacSwords.
By and large, McSwords says Kentucky’s wood industry is doing well. She says the state’s aim is to ensure logging operations doesn’t adversely impact water quality.
“The Division of Forestry is responsible for inspecting those harvesting harvest jobs to ensure that they are using best management practices..in other words doing what they need to do to keep sediments out of the creeks,” added MacSwords.
McSwords says Kentucky ranks near the top nationally in hardwood production. She adds Kentucky’s wood products industry is worth at least three billion dollars a year. It helps drive Kentucky’s economy..
“They do provide a lot of raw material for construction, they provide raw material for paper, they provide raw material for thousands of forest products,” said MacSwords.
MacSwords says the economic downturn has had its affect on the timber industry like many other businesses.