Tennessee Forestry Facts

As we continue to lose valuable forestland to urbanization, it becomes even more imperative to encourage working forests in Tennessee. Tennessee landowners are tremendous stewards. Forests are a valuable resource. The economic impact of Forestry in Tennessee is essential to our way of life. The forest not only provides Tennesseans with clean water, clean air, wildlife habitat and bountiful beauty, but also provides thousands of jobs throughout the state.

From 1996 to 2001, the forest products industries invested nearly $3.5 billion in Tennessee.

Nearly 200,000 Tennesseans have a job related to forestry
The average annual wage in the forest products industries is $32,000.00

Approximately 500 new jobs are created every year from New Projects and Expansions

Tennessee is known as "The Hardwood Capitol of the World.

In 2001, Tennessee exported $766.5 million in forest products to Australia, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain and the United Kingdom.

True or False?

1) The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is responsible for Tennessee's Forests.

FALSE: Although Water Quality issues are the responsibility of TDEC, Forestry is under the supervision of the Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry. Forests are considered an Agricultural Crop.

2) Forestry is essential to Tennessee's Economy

TRUE: The Forest Products Community contributes nearly $20 billion to Tennessee's Economy. Over 175,000 people are employed within the forestry community paying out nearly $5 billion in annual salaries and wages.

3) Pine Forests are Biological Deserts

FALSE: Tennessee's Forests are primarily Hardwood. Less than 10% of forestland in the state is in Pine. Some say Pine Forests are biological deserts and destroy wildlife. The lifespan of a pine plantation is 30-60 years with constant change in wildlife diversity. In the first 5-6 years of seedlings, wide assortments of grasses, forbs and browse in the under story provides a bountiful supply of food for wildlife. Young pine plantations are very productive for quail, rabbits, deer, turkey and many non-game birds. When pine reaches pulpwood size (15-18 years) thinning will allow herbaceous plants respond rapidly to the increased sunlight, which continues to produce food for wildlife.

Information Resources

Tennessee Wildlife Resources, Forest Stewardship Program, University of Tennessee, Institute of Agriculture.