Published on 06/12/16

New online resource highlights the economic importance of forestry in the South

By Brent Peterson

Trees are a big business in the South. With more than 209 million acres of timberland spread across the 13-state region and landowners planting more trees every year, the forest products industry supports about 1.2 million jobs.

This spring, the Southern Regional Extension Forestry office (SREF), in partnership with the Southern Group of State Foresters (SGSF), launched a one-stop website offering the most recent data on the economic impacts of forestry and timberland across the South.

The website,, provides easy access to economic impact reports for each of the 13 states in the Southern region, as well as links to other relevant forest economic resources on the web. SREF and its partners created the website to respond to the needs of educators, policymakers, community leaders and the general public for comprehensive and convenient forest-related economic information. It serves as an essential resource for those seeking to promote the importance of forestry and the forest products industry.

“The website is the result of a tremendous amount of work by those within the state forestry and university system in the Southern region,” said William G. Hubbard, Southern Regional Extension Forester at SREF. “SREF Extension associates Steven Weaver and Leslie Boby are to be commended for shepherding such a powerful resource into existence.”

Other partners on the effort include the Association of Southern Rural Extension Directors (ASRED) and the state and private forestry unit of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service’s (USFS) Southern Region.

About Southern Regional Extension Forestry

SREF serves Southern land-grant universities and forestry professionals through collaborative development of forestry technologies and programs that improve the efficiency, effectiveness and relevance of supporting institutions. For more information about SREF, visit

Brent Peterson is marketing and communications coordinator for Southern Regional Extension Forestry.