Timber Ownership in the US

timber ownership historical chart
For the purposes of data collection, the United States is divided into 9 distinct regions by the USDA. These boundaries represent the types and uses of the timber grown within a given region and are shown in the first figure of this post. In the Western, Southern and Northeast regions of the United States timber is primarily composed of coniferous trees used for paper, construction materials and other softwood applications. Quality hardwood timber can be concentrated primarily in the Midwest, Southern and parts of the Northeast regions of the United States.

The Best Hardwood Timber

The best hardwood timber is grown where the Northeast, North Central, Southeast and South Central regions come together. In fact, it is widely held that Southern Ohio, West Virginia and the Northern Appalachian region grows the best, highest-quality hardwood timber in the country. Timber Works buys much hardwood timber from this region. The quality of true Northern Appalachian hardwood is unmatched by the rest of the country.

The quality of the timber in the Ohio, W. Virginia and N. Kentucky areas is reflected by the market—this timber is among the most valuable in the world. This helps explain how the Ohio forest products industry contributes over $15 billion per year to the state economy.

Despite what many people think, timber land in the United States is not concentrated in the hands of government or giant forest-industry corporations—standing timber in America is overwhelmingly held in small, private hands. As you can clearly see in the second figure, the percentage of timber owned by private individuals grew to over 60% in 2001. Private ownership encourages good stewardship of the forest resource which, when properly managed, is truly a sustainable resource. us-timber-regions Although we harvest between 300 and 400 million board feet of hardwood timber from the state of Ohio per year, forested land in the state, which accounts for about 30% of the total land volume of Ohio, produces around 1 Billion feet of timber per year. In other words, the stock of hardwood timber in the state of Ohio is growing steadily at a ratio of about 2.4:1. We believe a properly managed forest is a win-win scenario. By partnering with land owners and carrying out strategic harvests, our company is able to maximize the financial return to a land owner while balancing environmental concerns and ensuring continued forest vitality. Visit our timber sales and logging section to learn more about harvesting your timber.

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