Forests cover one-half of Kentucky and provide a wide range of benefits to the commonwealth. One of the most notable benefits is the economic contribution that we gain from the utilization of timber and wood resources. Analysis of Kentucky’s forest and wood industries in 2014 indicated an estimated direct economic impact of $8.3 billion (up 4.4% from 2013). These industries employed over 28,200 individuals. Total economic impacts were estimated at $12.8 billion and 57,700 jobs in 2014. Kentucky is one of the leading producers of hardwood forest products in the south and exports wood products across the nation and the world. This economic impact was generated from forests located in all 120 counties of the commonwealth providing resources harvested by over 1,500 logging firms and processed at 703 facilities located in 109 counties. These industries include sawmills, pulp and paper mills, and a wide variety of secondary producers such as cabinet, barrel, and flooring manufacturers. The gains started in the second half of 2013 continued in 2014. Delivered log prices increased significantly with major species and grades exhibiting average delivered prices 15% higher than 2013. Analysis indicates that Kentucky will remain the leading producer of hardwood sawlogs in the South and one of the top three in the nation. This report highlights the economic contribution of the forestry sector to Kentucky in 2014 and provides insights to the sectors predicted performance in 2015.

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