Forest industry contributes to state economy

Oklahoma’s forest and forest products industry had a total impact of $4.5 billion on the state’s economy, including supporting more than 18,000 jobs with wages and salaries in excess of $738 million according to a new report.

The report, which is produced periodically, is a collaborative effort between Oklahoma Forestry Services, Oklahoma State University and the Southern Regional Extension Forestry to measure the impact of Oklahoma’s forests industry. The new Economic Importance of Forestry in Oklahoma is based on 2012 information.

Dr. Omkar Joshi, Oklahoma State University forest economist, is optimistic about future growth of Oklahoma’s forest industry.

“Economic performance of forest related industry is strongly correlated with the housing market,” Joshi said. “While housing activity in Oklahoma is briefly stagnated with the recent downturn in oil market, we will see steady progress in housing demand as the population increases.”

Additionally, the report revealed that Oklahoma’s forest industry has directly contributed $2.95 billion to the state’s economy, employing over 6,770 people with wages and salaries in excess of $351 million.

“Our forests and forest industry have a significant impact on the state economy,” said George Geissler, Oklahoma Forestry Services director and State Forester. “We also want to make people aware that in addition to the measurable economic contribution, our forests provide invaluable ecological benefits such as clean air and water, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, and scenic beauty.”

Oklahoma Forestry Services is committed to conserving, enhancing and protecting Oklahoma’s 12.4 million acres of forests and woodlands. For more information and to view the fact sheet visit