Many Oklahomans do not realize that more than twelve million acres (approximately 28 percent of the land) of our state is forested and the forest industry contributes over $2.8 billion to our state’s economy annually. Our forests provide numerous ecological services such as clean air and water, recreational opportunities, and scenic beauty.
Oklahoma is the continental crossroads for a variety of forests. The eastern woodland meets the western grassland, mingling with the ponderosa pines of the Rocky Mountains in the far reaches of the Panhandle and the mesquite scrubland of northern Texas. The Ozark hardwoods of oak and hickory finger their way into the pine forests of the Ouachitas and the cypress swamps of Louisiana.
Who Owns Oklahoma's Forests?
The vast majority of Oklahoma’s forests (95% or more) are not owned by the federal government or large forest products companies, but instead by thousands of private individuals – from farmers and ranchers and those who still live on the land, to the teachers and professionals and other private citizens that reside in cities across the state or across the nation.
Care and Management is the Key
Oklahoma's forest is a huge asset to our state, the nation and the world. Proper care and management is essential. State and federal government, the forest industry, community leaders and thousands of private landowners working together help to keep our forests and woodlands healthy and productive.